Natalie Merchant Live in the South West

Natalie Merchant, whose new album Leave Your Sleep features a song adapted from Charles Causley’s ‘Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience’ is touring the UK in May. She will be in Bristol at The Colston Hall on 29 May. Further information about tickets here.

You can listen to Natalie singing ‘Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience’ here and watch a documentary and series of films about the recording of the project here.

“This new collection of songs,” says Natalie, “is my first studio album since 2003. It is the most elaborate project I have ever completed or even imagined… The lyrics for Leave Your Sleep are another departure from the way I had written for the past 28 years. I decided to set poetry created by other writers to music. I chose works by both well-known and obscure poets, ranging from anonymous nursery rhymes and lullabies to poems by British Victorians, early and mid 20th Century Americans, and a few contemporary writers… The poems inspired vastly different musical settings with themes that ranged from humorous and absurd to tragic, romantic, and deeply spiritual. … Five years of research and writing went into Leave Your Sleep. Over time my curiosity about the lives of the poets that I had included in my anthology grew. So I read biographical accounts and letters, searched archives, and contacted heirs, executors, or the poets themselves in an attempt to know more about my co-writers. Much of this information is included in the 80 page book that accompanies the collection of music.”

Two versions of Leave Your Sleep will be available April 12th on Nonesuch Records: a 26 song version with deluxe packaging and a 16-track “selections” version with abridged liner notes.