Who knew today could be such a good day?! We did. It’s all part of our devious plan to invite so much amazingness into one place that you can’t help but enjoy yourself. With that, we’re excited to announce Alela Diane‘s return to Pickathon, this time around with a new album!
About the album:
Cusp explores the weight and beauty of creating life. Album opener “Albatross” bemoans the pain of leaving her daughter behind for a promotional tour––a heartache she’d never experienced. “The chorus is a reference to flying overseas and having to leave my kid at home, the intensity of that,” she says. Forlorn but also imbued with wonder and acceptance, the song is a perfect example of Alela’s ability to capture the nuances of an experience. Gorgeous “Move Us Blind” delves into our complicated relationship with time, while “Buoyant”––which Alela says “surprised her”––is rich with the vivid imagery her loyal listeners have come to expect.
Throughout the record, Alela refuses to stray from her perspective as a mother and woman. “These songs are about a really different moment in my life than my earlier work, which was more rooted in being young, innocent, curious––I was reflecting on the past and the magic of youth.” “Song for Sandy” was written for British singer Sandy Denny who died shortly after the birth of her daughter. Triggered by the drowned Syrian toddler who washed up on a Turkish shore, Alela penned the haunting “Emigré” in response to the international refugee crisis. Moody “Never Easy” tackles Alela’s complex relationship with her own mother, a recurring theme throughout her albums.
While her music speaks fiercely for itself, Alela also hopes it prompts discussions about what we expect from women artists. “As women, our music is sold based on our sex-appeal,” she says. “There’s a lack of spaces for women to move into that aren’t based on appearance. Those are conversations I’m interested in having.”
In the end, Cusp provokes those questions as it honors days left behind, embraces the complexity of today, and explores hope for what’s to come. “A song can start out a certain way and then grow into itself, change, and become something you didn’t expect it to be,” Alela says. So can a woman.