Alternative folk troubadour Sean Rowe plays live for a group of WNRN members at In Your Ear studios in Richmond. In addition to playing songs from new album The Darkness Dressed in Colored Lights he tells stories about his strangest house concert experience, taking part in an Air BnB Ayahausca ceremony, and he pulls out a haunting cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” to close out the session. Watch the full session below thanks to our friends at In Your Ear.
On Big Red Machine’s second album, How Long is It Going to Last?, the National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon return with the great big collective voice of indie artists they’ve amalgamated over the years. No one singer dominates the tracklist, with the credits clocking in at 13 vocalists and 29 musicians collaborating on the project, building upon the sound of the National’s 2019 release I Am Easy to Find.
“We kinda say it’s like a band with no windows or doors, and it’s just wide open,” Dessner said. “It’s been like a fun way for us to collaborate and to experiment.”
The sound stays cohesive with so many different voices contributing to How Long, giving the record a refined jam session sound rich with camaraderie. To Dessner, it captures that nostalgic feeling of simply making music with your friends for the first time.
“A lot of people come here to this studio I have called Long Pond or we experiment remotely with a lot of other friends, so it’s just like inviting people to bounce off these ideas, and then collecting these contributions and editing them into something that feels intentional,” Dessner said.
With a distinctly and timely autumnal feel that gets a little help from collaborators Taylor Swift and the Fleet Foxes, the record revels in bracing against the emotional weight of the cold, but without shying away. And while posing so many questions, Dessner said that the titular one drives the theme home.
“It can refer to so many things, so many themes that are in the album, whether it’s a relationship or a marriage or a friendship or a creative streak, like the one Taylor and I have been on. You don’t know how long this magic will last. There’s a lot of questions asked along the course of the whole record but I think that’s the main one, I think it’s special.”
– Logan Roddy
Charlottesville-based Stray Fossa stopped by the WNRN studios to perform live and talk about the making of their debut album With You For Ever. The band turned their attic loft into a studio and recorded the album from home in 2020. They talk about the benefits of living where you work, artists who have influenced their lush, dreamy version of rock n’ roll, and what it’s like to hit the road with fellow indie act Dreamgirl who will open up for the band at their WNRN Presents albums release show on Saturday October 9th at The Southern Cafe & Music Hall. (Playlist: “Orange Days”, “How Come?”, “Are You Gonna Be Okay?”).
Old Crow Medicine Show began performing on street corners in upstate New York and found an early home in Boone, NC, but Ketch Secor considers himself a Virginian at heart. He was raised in Harrisonburg and he speaks with ease about everything from drinking Starr Hill beer to busking under the marquee of the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, so it’s a homecoming of sorts this weekend as the group returns to Central Virginia to play on Friday September 17th at Music at Maymont and September 18th at Augusta Expo in a fundraiser for the MaDee Project.
Paul Thorn connects with Bob Mosolgo from home in Tupelo, MS on the eve of his fall tour to perform songs from latest album Never Too Late to Call. In addition to performing the title track, written for Thorn’s late sister, he talks about performing at the Grand Ole Opry with his wife, and lets us in on the inspiration for the title of “Sapalo” from the new album. Click on the player above to stream the full session including performances of “Never Too Late to Call” and “Breaking Up for Good Again”!
Virginia native and recent Nashville transplant Will Overman returns to the Commonwealth to kick off his tour in support of debut album The Winemaker’s Daughter. He talks about sharing the personal songs on this new album, throwing himself in the Nashville music scene, and how it feels to finally hit the road in support of the album which was released in February, plus he performs live in this In Studio Session.
Charlottesville singer/songwriter Nan Macmillan joins us live in studio ahead of her performance at the Southern Café & Music Hall. Hear her talk about her songwriting influences and her favorite things about the Central VA music scene before departing for New York City later this month. She also performs live with her band and debuts a new song in this In Studio Session. (Playlist: “Rain for the Heavy Heart”, “How Many Miles”, and “Timelines”).