Today, Valerie June released her first new album in four years The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers, via Fantasy Records. Produced by Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, John Legend) and Valerie June, the new album is sweeping and ambitious with earthy R&B production and a touch of psychedelia amidst its astral folk-pop orchestration, the pair arrived at a sound that is elegant and endlessly surprising. At the center is June’s spellbinding vocals and infectious sense of wonder that finds the Brooklyn-via-Memphis artist narrating the often-precarious journey to joyful possibility.
The album’s first official single “Call Me A Fool” was released earlier and is a delicious slice of Memphis soul that features Stax legend Carla Thomas on background vocals. Watch it HERE.
Valerie June on “Call Me A Fool” feat. Carla Thomas:
“Have you ever been a fool for a dream? It might have been a little dream like a kiss from a lover or a big one like the dream of peace that Dr. King, John Lennon, and so many others have had for humanity. No matter how big or how small your dream may be, keep believing, and let the world call you a fool!”
Working at Fresh Young Minds in L.A. and Hit Factory Criteria in Miami June found an ideal collaborator in Splash, who shares her tendency toward childlike adventuring in the artistic process. “For this album, I wanted to see how we could bring some modern elements into that band-in-the-room approach I’ve taken with my records in the past,” says June. In bringing the album to life, the pair utilized reference points ranging from the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti to the grandiose string arrangements of Bowie producer Tony Visconti as the eclectic lineup of esteemed musicians absorbed themselves in free-flowing experimentation.
From the delicate whispered epiphany of “Fallin” and the sagebrush soul of “Two Roads” to the joyful determination of “Smile” and the prayerful invocation of “Home Inside,” the shape-shifting textures of The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers prove infinitely mesmerizing.
Commenting on the new album, June says:
“With this record, it finally became clear why I have this dream of making music. It’s not for earthly reasons of wanting to be awarded or to win anybody’s love—it’s because dreaming keeps me inquisitive and keeps me on that path of learning what I have to share with the world. When we allow ourselves to dream like we did when we were kids, it ignites the light that we all have within us and helps us to have a sort of magic about the way we live.”
Late last year, Valerie released “Stay” / “Meditation” / “You and I,” a rhapsodic, three-song suite that Rolling Stone affirmed, “If early previews like [this] are any indication, June’s next record should be a career-making statement.” In addition, Essence called the tracks “well worth the wait” and the New York Times named “You and I” one of the Best Songs Of 2020. Listen to them HERE.
The follow-up to her 2013 breakthrough, Pushin’ Against A Stone, and the widely adored Order of Time — a 2017 effort that earned the admiration of Bob Dylan and landed on best-of-the-year lists — The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers is a transportive, deeply affecting work — a potent catalyst for those foolish enough to dream.
In addition, June is set to take part (virtually) in the 34th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert, on February 17th performing alongside artists such as Eddie Vedder, Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Angelique Kidjo, and many more. See details HERE.
Order The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers: HERE
The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers
“You And I”
“African Proverb Read By Carla Thomas”
“Call Me A Fool” Featuring Carla Thomas
“Why The Bright Stars Glow”
“Starlight Ethereal Silence”
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