Published on December 19th, 2019 | by Guest Editor0
Letitia VanSant To Release Sophomore Album Circadian on February 21
The Boot Premieres “Something Real”, first single from Neilson Hubbard produced LP
Letitia VanSant’s entrancing new album Circadian is powerful and simple, harkening back to a time not too long ago when the lines between folk-singer, storyteller, and activist were not just blurred, but nearly nonexistent. In our modern age of categories and brands and sound bites, the aforementioned renaissance women and men have seemingly fallen through the cracks or have been pigeonholed into one role or the other. Enter Circadian, out February 21, and VanSant, a massively honest singer-songwriter tracing political realities to their spiritual roots. Yesterday, The Boot premiered “Something Real” and its accompanying music video, filmed on the Chesapeake Bay near VanSant’s grandfather’s old house with VanSant’s friends and giant dog in tow. The song came to VanSant at a moment when she was feeling cynical about music and life in general. “I was at Kerrville Folk Festival not long after the death of a beloved songwriter named Jimmy LaFave,” says VanSant. “And although I never met him, I was amazed to feel how much his energy was still moving through the world as people sang his songs around campfires.” VanSant allowed her cloud of pessimism to blow over and found a new driving force; the miracle that we’re alive and that we’re so fortunate to gather with friends to create and sing songs in any form. “So I created the video with that kind of joy in mind.” Listen to “Something Real” here.
VanSant called on the production talent of Nashville’s Americana golden boy Neilson Hubbard (Mary Gauthier, Caroline Spence) and they got together to cut the tracks for Circadian at Skinny Elephant Recording in East Nashville. Entering the studio with the intention of recording a 2-song EP, VanSant and Hubbard both recognized the chemistry between the two of them, the studio musicians, and the songs. At the end of a week’s worth of recording, VanSant walked away with a 9-song album. Many of the songs were recorded live in just 2 or 3 takes with a trio of renowned studio musicians—Will Kimbrough, Michael Rinne (Miranda Lambert), and Juan Solorzano—and several of the final vocal tracks were lifted directly from scratch tracks; takes usually thrown away in exchange for a more polished final performance. “I just figured that people are going to either like my singing or they’re not, and splicing and dicing to get the perfect take would probably hurt more than it helped,” VanSant says about their decision. With the end result, even the most discerning ears will be hard-pressed to hear a difference in the soul and execution of VanSant’s singing.
Although VanSant’s 2019 tour has wrapped up, she has a hefty schedule ahead of her in 2020, starting with performances at the Folk Alliance International conference in New Orleans. February and March find VanSant looping around the northeast before heading to California for a run of shows. VanSant will return to the United Kingdom in April and May with stops in Scotland, Wales, and England. A full list of tour dates can be found below.