Sat, Dec 02|
The Listening Booth
Antje Duvekot with Zoe FitzGerald Carter
Crafter of intricate, closely observed songs “Her songs feel at once fresh faced and firmly rooted, driven by the whispery sensuality of her voice.” -The Boston Globe
Time & Location
Dec 02, 2023, 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
The Listening Booth, 35000 Midway Outlet Dr, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971, USA
About The Event
Singer-songwriter, Antje Duvekot is poised to unveil her fifth studio album, “New Wild West”, on September 15th. According to Duvekot, this collection of songs marks the pivotal juncture of mid-life and represents a new rung on the ladder of healing from trauma. The songs on “New Wild West” signal a genuine shift in Duvekot’s relationship with some of the enduring themes she has grappled with over the years. “On the whole”, says Duvekot, “my older songs sought to disarm trauma by bluntly acknowledging its destabilizing nature and creating a space in which to exist with that sensation, both for myself and my audiences. In contrast, the newer songs have the teeth and tenacity to openly confront and defy trauma. As such, I feel very warmly towards this collection of songs. They are long overdue dissidents”. Duvekot’s amplified voice in mid-life carries a protective fierceness that resonates across the album. Songs like “Girl on a Wire” and “Evolution” salute the perseverance we all apply to our human journey towards finding our voice. Duvekot says of hers, “I crawled into music as a protective vessel when I was a teenager. It lent me safety and allowed me to stay open and let in more continuous sunlight than I could have, otherwise. I want to pay back that loan. Many of the songs on ‘New Wild West’ do that”.
The album “New Wild West” came to fruition through the collaboration of Duvekot and esteemed New England singer-songwriter Mark Erelli after a joint tour inspired the idea. Over the course of a year, Duvekot recorded most vocals from her home, while Erelli laid down the majority of instrumentation and production in his basement studio with notable guest performances by Seth Glier, Robby Hecht, Winnie Horan, John Gorka, Richard Shindell, and Kenny White. The tracks were mixed and mastered in Woodstock. Consistent with the album’s central theme of pushing beyond comfort zones and embracing new frontiers, the cover art was generated by an AI, which Duvekot admits made her considerably uncomfortable at first: “The AI-generated image is evocative and uncannily fitting, yet I was uneasy about its non-human origin. In the end, I could not resist the poetry behind that discomfort, given the theme of the album!”
“New Wild West” is lush with the poignant poetry that is the hallmark of every Antje Duvekot release. The album’s title track, “New Wild West,” encourages someone in a historical position of privilege to accept impending progress with a gently patronizing sense of sympathy. “Open Waters” espouses authenticity and bravery, in contrast to “[those who] have volunteered to be chained by fear. From one pioneer to another: it’s not that we aren’t scared, but I’ll meet you there, out in the open waters.” “Girl on a Wire” revisits a tightrope metaphor that once ran through Duvekot’s 2009 song “Vertigo,” where the protagonist feared “I will break all my bones; I lied about the Vertigo.” In “Girl,” the protagonist, instead, “walks a tightrope in the eye of the storm…I am the girl who out-dared gravity…you can keep your Phoenix and SpaceX and Richard Branson, this is me flying, this is me dancing.” The opening track on the album, “Evolution,” echoes a similar sentiment, celebrating growth (and literal evolution) and inviting us to “marvel at how far we came since the early dog days of our prehistoric dawn. Back when the phases of the moon were still just phrases without a tune…But I see you now and Holy cow, look at you now.”
The piano track, “Dylan Thomas (1996-1998),” was inspired by Duvekot passing by the gravestone of a two-year-old inside a cemetery while on tour. In it, she gives thanks for the grace of time: “I know now what I owe, and I shall speak it in your name. It’s to drink freely from that well and not dwell one more day in the walls of shame.” Moving past self-pity into ownership, she declares “I am no unlucky one.” Some thematically stand-alone tracks include “Anwesenheit,” an Earth Day song commissioned by the Goethe Institute, and “Lottery Ticket,” written on assignment for a podcast. Additionally, there’s the sultry “Traces,” which describes the romantic chemistry felt across a telephone line while dating during Covid.
Yet another testament to the powerhouse that is Antje Duvekot, “New Wild West” is a sonic and lyrical knockout that marks a newly blazed trail in Duvekot’s songwriting career, celebrating the mid-life transition into a greater sense of self. As always, Duvekot deftly captures the essence of the collective journey that is the human condition, and Mark Erelli hits it home with exquisitely executed musical orchestration.
Known for her literary songwriting style and deep honey voice, author turned songwriter Zoe FitzGerald Carter released her first album, Waiting for the Earthquake, in 2018 and Waterlines, in 2021. Ranging in style from folk to funk, the album featured some of the finest musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reviews for the album have been stellar: "There aren’t any boring moments. They’re all well-crafted songs. Zoe FitzGerald Carter's 10-cut beauty of an LP is assured and catchy." (Americana Highways)
Her new album, Before the Machine, is due in early 2024.
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