Kris Delmhorst's arresting new album Shotgun Singer began as an act of solitary creation. Holed up in a rural cabin with minimal recording gear and a houseful of instruments, Delmhorst recorded her new songs alone and off the clock, in late night sessions that yielded layers of intimate vocals combined with nylon string and electric guitars, cellos, keyboards, and percussion. The result is collection of songs fully realized and even lush at times, but retaining a hushed intensity, a spirit of lo-fi intimacy and unhurried exploration.
With a back catalog that includes two darkly rollicking roots records produced by Morphine's Billy Conway (2001's Five Stories, and 2003's Songs for a Hurricane), and the 2006 release Strange Conversation, a vibrant collection of Americana songs inspired by the work of famous poets, Kris Delmhorst has built a thriving career and a devoted following from the ground up, and without major label hype. The same independence of spirit that led Delmhorst to spend some early years working on subsistence farms, cooking on a schooner off the coast of Maine, or hitch-hiking the back roads of Ireland with a fiddle on her back, is evident in the arc of her musical evolution: a willingness to work on her own terms and her own time. Along the way she's parlayed a decade of successful cross country and trans-Atlantic touring into one of the most distinct voices in American music.