February 8, 2018
The Young Novelists To Release Fourth Full-Length Album, ‘in city & country’
New album examines the parallels and differences of city and small-town life
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 8, 2018 — When they first met, Graydon James and Laura Spink had no idea that they would be married one day — much less touring the world together as The Young Novelists. The Toronto-based band combined firsthand experience and historical research to create their new album, in city & country, which highlights the parallels, examines the differences and tells the universal stories of both city living and small-town life. Inspired by a dozen Canadian towns, the album will release on May 4, 2018, and Atwood Magazine premiered the first single “Come Round Again” 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 offers classic him-and-her vocals, with James playing acoustic guitar and Spink on percussion and vibraphone, along with the help of bassist Derrick Brady, drummer Rory Calexico, and guitarist John Law.
The album opens with “Two Of A Kind,” a sentimental ballad inspired by the town of Goderich; keyboardist Jeffrey Louch shines on the almost-love song that tells the tale of a woman trying to choose between two men. 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. 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. 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.
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.