Win a pair of tickets to see her by becoming an AUK supporter!
Nashville-based singer-songwriter Michaela Anne, who in our opinion recorded one of the tuuuuunes of last year, has just announced some UK dates which kick off at the end of this month in Glasgow before heading to the beautiful south of England (skipping the north sadly but it’s grim up here of course), and if you’re an AUK supporter you can win a pair of tickets to see her on one of those dates.
Her latest album currently out on Yep Roc, ‘Oh To Be That Free’, was written before the foundation-shaking events she faced during the global pandemic – including nearly losing her mother to a hemorrhagic stroke while pregnant with her first child – the Nashville songwriter found a deeply-prescient new significance in these songs while confronting life’s unimaginable challenges. “It’s kind of surreal the way this record turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear when I was at my lowest,” she reflects. “These songs became healers, almost as if I’d written them as letters to my future self.”
The eleven-song collection is lush and cinematic, at times channelling the cosmic country of Emmylou Harris while also hinting at Brandi Carlile with its indie-folk storytelling, and Kacey Musgraves with its sprawling swells of strings. But above all, Oh To Be That Free is profoundly vulnerable, touching on themes of gratitude, self-sabotage, nature, mindfulness and motherhood. Michaela’s delivery is tender and empathetic as she reckons with the flaws and faults that keep us up at night and insists we’re worthy of love not in spite of our shortcomings, but because of them.
Written and recorded with a small circle of close friends, including her husband and co-producer Aaron Shafer-Haiss, the songs on Oh To Be That Free find Michaela Anne searching for spiritual liberation with the help of her tight-knit musical community. These collaborators come from a variety of backgrounds – all brought together by their history with Michaela – from the jazz and soul intuition of her college friend Burniss Earl Travis on bass (Common, Robert Glasper) to the soaring harmonies of Jeff Malinowski and Amal Bouhabib, who years earlier sang as she walked down the aisle. With this group surrounding her, Michaela Anne summons the support and strength to purge the toxicity of “shameful self-destruction” and the never-ending chase for external validation.
Here are the (2023) dates:
May 31 – The Hug and Pint – Glasgow
June 1 – Jericho Tavern – Oxford
June 2 – Pocklington Arts Centre – Pocklington
June 4 – The Grace – London
June 6 – Mid Sussex Music Hall – Hassocks