Keep Your Courage [B&N Exclusive] [Transparent Gold Vinyl]

Keep Your Courage [B&N Exclusive] [Transparent Gold Vinyl]

by Natalie Merchant
Keep Your Courage [B&N Exclusive] [Transparent Gold Vinyl]

Keep Your Courage [B&N Exclusive] [Transparent Gold Vinyl]

by Natalie Merchant

Vinyl LP(Long Playing Record - B&N Exclusive Edition)

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A defining characteristic of Natalie Merchant's career after leaving 10,000 Maniacs in 1993 is her deliberateness as a songwriter; the songs do come, but not quickly. Keep Your Courage is Merchant's first collection of original songs in nine years. She didn't stay quiet during that decade -- she revisited her 1995 solo debut Tigerlily upon its 20th anniversary -- but she also spent a period of time in the early 2020s recovering from a spinal surgery that required a long healing process. Keep Your Courage documents her re-emergence after this convalescence, a record that doesn't dwell in the darkness but rather celebrates compassion, empathy, and inspiration. Merchant may have gone through an extended period of introspection, yet she chooses to look outward, even inviting Abena Koomson-Davis of the Resistance Revival Choir to duet on "Big Girls" and "Come On, Aphrodite," the pair of songs that open the album. These two tracks suggest a bit of a brighter record than what Keep Your Courage actually is. Most of the album is stately and sober, careful and cautious compositions that touch upon myths and legends as a way to address personal and political issues. Merchant's inherently warm, empathetic voice keeps the album from seeming still in its quiet moments, of which there are many; most of the record either simmers slowly or requires concentration to narrow in on its core emotions. Perhaps the album could use a few more cuts like "Tower of Babel," whose spruced-up New Orleans swing is a clear outlier here, but there's something softly compelling and endearing about Merchant's dedication to kindness, not to mention her penchant for literature and history. Where her peers have scaled down their ambitions, she's reaching for grand ideas and emotions on Keep Your Courage, turning her personal journey into something universal. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Product Details

Release Date: 04/14/2023
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597907209


  1. Big Girls
  2. Come on, Aphrodite
  3. Sister Tilly
  4. Narcissus
  5. Hunting the Wren
  6. Guardian Angel
  7. Eye of the Storm
  8. Tower of Babel
  9. Song of Himself
  10. The Feast of Saint Valentine

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natalie Merchant   Primary Artist,Vocals
Steve Davis   Trombone
Kevin Crawford   Celtic Flute
Cillian Vallely   Uillean Pipes
Kris Jensen   Sax (Tenor),Sax (Baritone)
Dana Lyn   Viola
Mike Rivard   Bass (Upright),Bass (Electric)
Eleanor Norton   Cello
Allison Miller   Drums,Percussion
Tony Kadleck   Trumpet
Megan Gould   Violin
Abena Koomson   Vocals,Featured Artist
Clark Matthews   French Horn
Kinan Azmeh   Clarinet
Erik Della Penna   Guitar (Electric),Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Andrew Price   Oboe
Angel Subero   Trombone,Trombone (Bass)
Matt Mancuso   Flute
Marandi Hostetter   Violin
Joseph Foley   Flute,Trumpet
Alex Sopp   Flute (Alto)
Carmen Staff   Mellotron,Piano (Grand),Organ (Hammond)

Technical Credits

Ryan Freeland   Mixing
Natalie Merchant   Composer,Producer
Kim Rosen   Mastering
Anabel Sinn   Design
Matt Hall   Assistant
David Snyder   Engineer
Ian Lynch   Composer
Lankum   Composer
Miss Merchant   Design
Andrea Camuto   Portraits
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