Emily Scott Robinson To Release ‘Traveling Mercies’
Breakthrough album finds hope and healing through shared humanity
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Aug. 3, 2018 — With her new album, Traveling Mercies, singer-songwriter Emily Scott Robinson offers a complex, thoughtful portrait of a true itinerant artist, one who carries the lessons of her past while searching for a hopeful future. She and her husband live full time in a motorhome and spend long stretches on the road, turning chance encounters with strangers into stirring folk meditations on the human condition. The album will release Feb. 22, 2019, with the first single “Better With Time” out August 3.
“‘Better with Time’ is my love story with my husband. I realized I didn’t need to do anything fancy to write a love song — I simply had to tell our story. We’ve worked hard, grown together and took a huge leap of faith by moving into the RV to build my career as a touring songwriter.”
One of Traveling Mercies‘ most powerful tracks is “The Dress,” a spare acoustic ballad that details the haunting trauma Robinson endured after being raped in her early twenties. With courage and vulnerability, she poses many of the questions that victims ask themselves, like, “Was it the dress I wore? Was it the wine he poured? Was there some sign I ignored?”
On the heels of a stunning tribute to a World War II veteran in “Overalls,” Robinson closes out the album with its title track, turning her keen eye for detail to our larger social and political challenges. Against the backdrop of a mournful fiddle and gently picked mandolin, she sings, “These days have been dark, it feels like our world has been coming apart.” She talks openly about her concern for refugees seeking safe passage to our country, which landed her a spot on NPR’s “The World” last spring in a feature about immigration.
Traveling Mercies was produced by Neilson Hubbard, a Nashville mainstay who produced, among many other projects, Mary Gauthier’s 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards Album of the Year nominee Rifles and Rosary Beads. Robinson and Hubbard recorded the album at East Nashville’s Skinny Elephant Studio. Traveling Mercies features a stacked lineup of guest musicians, including Will Kimbrough (Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell), Sam Howard (Ben Sollee, Aoife O’Donovan), Eamon McLoughlin (Emmylou Harris, the Grand Ole Opry), the Wild Ponies’ Telisha Williams, and harmony vocalists Grace Pettis and Robby Hecht.
Though this is Robinson’s first studio release, it’s by no means her first introduction to the songwriting community. In 2015, she won American Songwriter‘s May/June lyric contest for “Marriage Ain’t the End of Being Lonely.” She followed that with a Kerrville New Folk Winner trophy in 2016 and a Wildflower Performing Songwriter Contest win in 2017. AmericanaFest announced Robinson as an Official Showcasing Artist for the 2018 lineup this September.