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Young Man In America

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iTunes Review

With a photograph of her father, Don Mitchell, gracing the cover of her fourth studio album and recurring lyrical narratives about the relationships between children and parents, it would seem that Anais Mitchell’s Young Man in America is veering into concept-album territory. The opening “Wilderland” starts with scratchy stringed instruments before trudging rhythms and hard-strummed guitars usher in what feels like the beginning of a storm. Mitchell’s spirited voice sings self-harmonies in haunting minor chords, as her lyrics describe how a mother must shelter her children while a father must shepherd them, because urban sprawls have become the new wilderness. This bleeds into the title track: a modern folk-rocker wrought with autobiographical lyrics of a hardscrabble upbringing punctuated by rootsy instruments and a lazy horn section. Though she’s garnered many comparisons to Ani DiFranco, here Mitchell's higher timbre inflects more like Victoria Williams, especially in the lilting “He Did” and in the moving “Shepherd,” based on a novel that her father wrote in his youth entitled The Souls of Lambs.

Customer Reviews


This is a great album.

Young Man in America

Great album. For some reason parts remind me of older Emmylou Harris.

Still astoundingly good

I was blown away from the first playing of this album shortly after it came out. It still astounds with its brilliance. One of the best in my 50 years of music.


Born: Vermont

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Heavily influenced by the confessional alternative folk stylings of Ani DiFranco, Anaïs Mitchell began writing songs when she was 17. Born in Vermont, she attended Middlebury College and traveled throughout the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe studying global politics before alighting in Austin, TX, in the early 2000s. She released her first album, The Song They Sang When Rome Fell, in 2002. Mitchell performed at the Kerrville Folk Festival the following year, where she was awarded with the...
Full Bio
Young Man In America, Anaïs Mitchell
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Customer Ratings