11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

TITLE TIME
3:08
5:30
3:06
3:06
2:21
4:05
4:11
3:46
5:33
4:13
6:25

About Anaïs Mitchell

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 New Folk award. Her second album, Hymns for the Exiled, came out on Waterbug Records in 2004, and a copy eventually made its way to DiFranco herself. The folk icon attended a few of Mitchell's performances and offered her a deal at Righteous Babe Records soon after. The Brightness, Mitchell's debut on that label, arrived in February 2007. In 2006, Mitchell debuted her "folk opera" Hadestown in collaboration with arranger Michael Chorney and director Ben T. Matchstick based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and set in a futurist poverty-striken America. A second draft was performed by the a group called the Hadestown Company in 2007. An album entitled Hadestown with appearances from Greg Brown, DiFranco and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon was released on Righteous Babe in March of 2010. ~ Margaret Reges

  • ORIGIN
    Vermont

Top Songs by Anaïs Mitchell

Top Albums by Anaïs Mitchell

Listeners Also Played