Allison Russell is gearing up to release her first ever solo project, the highly anticipated Outside Child (produced by Dan Knobler) on Fantasy Records. Just ahead of the LP release, Russell has shared the gorgeous new track “Persephone” from the forthcoming debut. You can watch and share “Persephone” right here.
“Persephone’ is an homage to my first love” says Russell. “She helped me through my early days of being a teenage runaway and taught me that people can be kind… It’s about the healing joy of experiencing a consensual sexual awakening after a decade of abuse and about the transformative rebirth that is possible when we begin to love and be loved with mutual care, respect and honesty.”
Russell is a poet, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist and co-founder of Our Native Daughters and Birds of Chicago. Russell unpacks her youth in searing musical detail throughout Outside Child. “Persephone” follows “Nightflyer,” the album’s first single, which she shared last month.
Born and raised in Montreal, Russell imbues her music with the colors of her city – the light, the landscape, the language – but also the trauma that she suffered there. It is a heartbreaking reflection on a childhood no one should have to endure, and at the same time a powerful and warm statement of hope – asserted from a place of healing, of motherhood, of partnership – and from a new home made in Nashville. The record features contributions from many of the artistic family members she has found there including producer Dan Knobler, Erin Rae, Jamie Dick, Joe Pisapia, The McCrary Sisters, Ruth Moody, Yola, and her partner JT Nero.
“It was just about making these songs live and breathe in the most honest way” Russell explains. “We were laughing, we were crying. And the communion between musicians, I hope people can hear that on the record. It felt like magic.”
“Outside Child is about resilience, survival, transcendence, the redemptive power of art, community, connection, and chosen family” adds Russell.
The album is both a radical reclamation of a traumatic childhood and lost home and a lantern light for survivors of all stripes – a fervent reminder of the resuscitative power of art. You can pre-order Outside Child here.
Music has touched my soul since day one. Whether it is performing or sitting down with some of the biggest names in music, I can always be found sharing my profoundly tender affection of music with anyone who will listen. Being a music journalist has allowed me to expand my knowledge of music and interact with some of my biggest childhood heroes. From days of radio broadcasting to sitting back, kicking off my cowboy boots and sharing my adventures with likeminded music fans online has been nothing short of amazing. Canada is full of true musical talent and I look forward to continuing to share my adventures in music with you.