May 4, 2018
The Young Novelists Release Fourth Full-Length Album ‘in city & country’
New album examines the parallels and differences of city and small-town life
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – May 4, 2018 — Folk duo The Young Novelists combined firsthand experience and historical research to create their new album, in city & country, which highlights the parallels and examines the differences of both city living and small-town life. Inspired by a dozen Canadian towns, the Toronto-based duo combines classic him-and-her vocals with informed tales of universal truths. The album is out today.
The Young Novelists recorded in city & country with JUNO-winning producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen, The Wooden Sky) at his Hotel2Tango studios in Montreal. The album features Graydon James playing acoustic guitar and Laura Spink on percussion and vibraphone, along with the help of bassist Derrick Brady, drummer Rory Calexico, and guitarist John Law. No Depression recently remarked that the new album hits “yet a richer vein in mood and lyrics, a smooth tangle of well-matched voices.”
The album opens with “Two Of A Kind” a sentimental ballad inspired by the town of Goderich. The Bootcalled the track “nostalgia-drenched” as keyboardist Jeffrey Louch shines on the almost-love song that tells the tale of a woman trying to choose between two men. The upbeat, energy-packed “Come Round Again,” written about a Bonnie & Clyde-style heist in Halton Hills, adds adrenaline with a guitar-heavy intro and catchy hook. Atwood Magazine noted how “the track’s spirited radiance emits an uplifting charm; it’s the sort of sunshine we need, especially now.”
The delicate, mellow “Back To The Hard Times,” focuses on Spink’s vocals, complemented by violinist Lana Tomlin (noted for her work with Canadian band Stars). The band thought of Ridgeway while writing the song, comparing two very different kinds of sadness: the failure of an old amusement park and a friend’s relationship ending. When premiering the track, PopMatters noted the band is “informed with a cool authenticity…[t]here’s a confidence in this understatement, a heart-filled hopefulness that one can only hope blazes a trail.” The title track, “City & Country,” ties the album together in more ways than one: it brings together the entire studio band (including cellist Justin Wright) as James reminisces on crucial times and places in his life, finding appreciation for the good and the bad happening in both city and country.
When they first met, James and Spink had no idea that they would be married one day — much less touring the world together as The Young Novelists. Since their inception in 2009, the band has toured across the U.S. and Canada, released three full-length albums, won numerous awards and continuous praise for their effortless harmonies. In 2016, Spink quit her job as a scientist, she and James packed their things (and their five-year-old son Simon), and went on a massive North American tour. After more than 100 shows, including a 10-week stint on the road, the pair returned to Toronto to work on in city & country, drawing inspiration from their travels.
No matter where you’ve lived, the dichotomy that exists on in city & country is universal; it’s not just a memoir of the duo’s experiences or the histories of small towns, it’s about appreciating where you’ve been and where you’re at — and finding the good and bad that lies within both.
May 17 – Campbellford, ON – Clock Tower Cultural Centre
May 18 – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre (4th Stage)
May 19 – Brandon, VT – Brandon Music
May 24 – Toronto, ON – Tranzac Club
May 31 – Guelph, ON – Silence
June 7 – Fredericton, NB – Corked Wine Bar
June 10 – Halifax, NS – The Carleton
June 22 – Bayfield, ON – Bayfield Town Hall