Esperanza Spalding Announces New Album, ‘Songwrights Apothecary’

Today (August 26), Grammy-winning songwriter and performer, Esperanza Spalding, announced the release date for her forthcoming new album, Songwrights Apothecary. The record, her first since 2018, is slated to drop on September 24 and includes the new single, “Formwela 10,” which Spalding also shared via a new video.

Spalding’s new album was created and recorded in her “traveling laboratory,” according to a press release, and features a number of “musicians, researchers, and practitioners.” Songwriting took place in New York City, Portland, and other locales.

“Each song was designed to have an intended effect for the listener,” the press release continues, “from grounding yourself in a moment of chaos and de-escalating interpersonal aggression to addressing the feelings of grief and loneliness brought on by the pandemic.

“The Songwrights Apothecary Lab is a curated portal of new work that is growing out of Spalding’s collaborative practice over the past years, exploring how songwriters might meaningfully incorporate therapeutic practices and knowledge into their process and production. The researchers and practitioners that partook in the labs specialize in fields ranging from neuroscience and music therapy to psychology and ethnomusicology.”

The intended effect of “Formwela 10” is for “grieving the consequences of, becoming more alert to, and dissolving one’s own romantic-entitlement tendencies.”

“The well of this interdisciplinary mode of music creation is deep,” the Portland, Oregon-borne Spalding says. “We dip and dip and draw and draw and pour the best of what we find into each Formwela.”

Photo Credit: Samuel Prather

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