Congrats to Allison and the whole Outside Child family on making the New York Times Best of 2021 list!
I had to sit down when I saw this.
I am particularly thankful for Jon Pareles
seeing and hearing me, for being the first music journalist to write in depth not just about my debut solo record , Outside Child, but about my entire career and arc and evolution as a writer and an artist. Jon ennobled #outsidechild and me with close, careful, empathetic, astonishingly well researched listening. He even listened to my back catalogue with Po’Girl
, Birds of Chicago Our Native Daughters
and found the threads and links between. We spoke for a long while over Zoom before the record came out in May. It was a connected, deep conversation. It’s easy to be open when someone has done such extensive research and therefore starts the interview from a place of respect, knowledge and genuine interest. The article was originally slated to run on a Tuesday – after reading it the editor made the decision to run it in the Arts & Leisure section of the Sunday Times instead. A full page spread with exquisite photographs by the wondrous #BethanyMollenkof
– the one in the first image was an outtake from that session. There is a link to that pivotal article in this best albums of 2021 piece.
I’ve never experienced anything like the momentum and expanding reach of the response to this record. It is a wave unprecedented in my 22 year career. I am more than grateful to be lifted by it as long as it lasts. That first NYT feature on May 13th, 2021 (May 16th in print ) set the tone and the bar so high for all that came after. That continues to come. It is joyful and affirming beyond reckoning. I don’t make art for accolades or recognition or nominations or awards but it does feel like a gift when they come.