Allison Russell - Outside Child

“Singing a blend of elegant torch songs, ancestral ballads (in French and English), gentle country shuffles, and Al-Green inspired R&B, Russell embarks on a fresh musical beginning by dealing directly with her traumatic upbringing…Despite its heavy inspirations, ‘Outside Child’ is anything but despairing or academic.” – Rolling Stone

“The lyrics to ‘Nightflyer’ are mostly a list, a poetic and far-reaching one: ‘I’m the moon’s dark side, I’m the solar flare/the child of the earth, the child of the air/I am the mother of the evening star/I am the love that conquers all.’ Allison Russell sings them over a stately blend of country and church as she summons a congregation of her own vocal harmonies, gathering strength as she promises reassurance.” – The New York Times on “Nightflyer”

 “Triumph glistens along poetic lyric lines as Russell uncovers unforeseen strength. Understanding this deeply rooted resilience derives from generations of strife, the artist beams with pride knowing the same strength will continue to build for her daughter and generations to come.” – American Songwriter

Next week, on Friday, May 21st, Allison Russell will release her first ever solo project, the highly anticipated Outside Child (produced by Dan Knobler) on Fantasy Records. Today, she shares her deeply personal track, “The Runner,” with guest vocals courtesy of Yola. On May 25th, Russell will make her late night television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! performing her single “Nightflyer.” The performance will also feature Brittney Spencer and Brandi Carlile.



Allison on “The Runner:”

I left home at 15, I managed to finish high school, start my first year of college – I worked terrible telemarketing jobs… My adoptive father continued to stalk and harass me around the city. When I was 17, I ran farther – across the country- from Montreal, QC to Vancouver, BC.  I was deeply despairing, suicidal, self-harming – and then music saved me

Holding for potential Opry announce. Russell will be returning to Newport Folk July 23-28 as a solo artist. She played the festival previously with Our Native Daughters and also sat in with Mavis Staples and Hozier. In addition she’ll play the Moon River Music Festival on Sept 11th in Chattanooga, TN. Russell will hold a live  concert release day event to stream via Bandcamp on Friday, May 21st. The event will feature Russell and her band playing songs from the new album for the first time in the live setting. The stream will take place at 9PM ET / 8 PM CT. Tickets are on sale today via Bandcamp. Proceeds will benefit The National Bail Out #FreeBlackMamas initiative. The National Bail Out Collective is a Black-led collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community based movement to end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. For more information visit:

The poet, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist and co-founder of Our Native Daughters and Birds of Chicago, unpacks her youth in searing detail throughout Outside Child. “The Runner” follows the previously released tracks “Persephone,” “Nightflyer” and “Montreal” which Russell has released in the last few months.

Born and raised in Montreal, Russell imbues her music with the colors of her city – the light, the landscape, the language – but also the trauma that she suffered there. It is a heartbreaking reflection on a childhood no one should have to endure, and at the same time a powerful and warm statement of hope – asserted from a place of healing, of motherhood, of partnership – and from a new home made in Nashville. The record features contributions from many of the artistic family members she has found there including producer Dan Knobler, Erin Rae, Jamie Dick, Joe Pisapia, The McCrary Sisters, Ruth Moody, Yola, and her partner JT Nero.

“It was just about making these songs live and breathe in the most honest way,” Russell says. “We were laughing, we were crying. And the communion between musicians, I hope people can hear that on the record. It felt like magic. “Outside Child” is about resilience, survival, transcendence, the redemptive power of art, community, connection, and chosen family.”

The album is both a radical reclamation of a traumatic childhood and lost home, and a lantern light for survivors of all stripes – a fervent reminder of the resuscitative power of art. “Allison’s new album, Outside Child, draws water from the dark well of a violent past,” says poet and songwriter Joe Henry.” “The songs themselves ––though iron-hard in their concerns–– are exultant: exercising haunted dream-like clean bedsheets snapped and hung out into broad daylight, and with the romantic poet’s lust for living and audacity of endurance.”

For special offers and exclusive merchandise, visit Allison’s official online store HERE.

“The Runner” Lyrics

Oh I had to run to run to run
From Mont Royale
Aux Portes des Lions (to the Lion’s Doors)

But no freedom would come my way
Yeah no freedom from
What he’d done to me

Then I heard that Rock and Roll
Outside the South Hill Candy Store
Felt myself walking in
I was up above me, I was standing right beside me – oh
And I saw my deliverance

Oh I had to sing to sing to sing
From the western sea
To the old country

Oh I had to bleed to bleed to bleed
Till his poison left my veins
Left me

Yeah I heard that rock and roll
Outside the South Hill Candy Store
Felt myself walking in
I was up above me, I was standing right beside me – oh
And I saw my deliverance

Now I still run still run still run
To catch a song
And cheat the gun

Come freedom come I pray I pray
Can’t stop me now
Can’t steal my joy

Then I heard that Rock and Roll
Outside the South Hill Candy Store
Felt myself walking in
I was up above me, I was standing right beside me – oh
And I saw my deliverance

Photo credit: Marc Baptiste


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