Mark Erelli turns adversity into finely embroidered rock songs that burn with urgency on his 2023 album Lay Your Darkness Down. Following full-bodied rock forebears Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Roy Orbison, Erelli’s songwriting explores the unknown glories of this planet and love’s transformational power. Over his two decade-long career, the singer-songwriter-sideman-producer-writer has proven himself equally at home in a multitude of roles: producing albums for artists like GRAMMY-winner Lori McKenna; serving as a sideman guitarist for artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter; writing and producing his own material, like 2018’s “By Degrees,” for which he was nominated for Song of the Year at the Americana Honors and Awards; and most recently, becoming an advocate for low-vision artists and working with venues to make their spaces more accessible. Written in the wake of his diagnosis with a degenerative retinal disease, Erelli’s upcoming 2023 album Lay Your Darkness Down is the next step on Erelli’s journey, following up on 2020’s Blindsided, which garnered praise from Rolling Stone Country, the Associated Press, NPR, The Boston Globe, and more.
With the release of “Cigarette” (Apr 13, 2023) Parden signals the rollout of her 3rd full length album, the effort of 3 recording sessions over 3 years with Micah Tawlks at Peptalk Studios in Nashville. Taking inspiration from The War on Drugs’ “Future Weather”, Kurt Vile’s “Smoke Ring For My Halo”, and Feist’s “The Reminder”, years of influence finally channel into one moody, late-night, windows-down anthem.
For all its unapproachable beauty, the heart of Molly’s music is humble and profoundly human. They are songs that remind us that heartbreak isn’t simply another marketable human emotion, but is more like a familiar place—a sacred space within all of us. We are all born with a deep sense of loss, and great art has a way of articulating our personal tragedies—both the ones we’re born into, and the ones we write and direct ourselves. It makes listening to “Rosemary” feel like falling into a dream or a distant memory—a beautiful reminder of something we’ve known all along.