London-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney follows-up her 2015 Nonesuch debut, The Longest River, with Shelter. The album was produced by Thomas Bartlett (David Byrne, Nico Muhly, The Magnetic Fields, Sufjan Stevens, The National, St. Vincent, Father John Misty) and features eight original songs, along with Chaney's interpretations of Purcell's "O Solitude" and Frank Harford and Tex Ritter's "Long Time Gone," first recorded by the Everly Brothers.
Chaney describes her time writing songs for Shelter: "I had been on the road a lot and was struggling with the grit and loneliness of urban life. I think I'd been questioning what home, belonging, a sense of purpose, and my own culture even meant. I'd been craving wilderness and a return to essentials for a long time. Then, while touring in the US, I realized the place I needed was already in my life. It was ancient, barely habitable, and remote. Thus a crumbling 18th-century cottage in the austere but magical hills of the North Yorkshire Moors – a family retreat since my teens, with no electricity or plumbing, where the only water comes from a spring – became the home for my work on Shelter. We brought out an Arts and Crafts Bechstein piano and an old wood burner to the house; and as summer's end turned to autumn's shorter, colder days, the room with the upright and stove fueled my stay."
Chaney says of working with Bartlett, "His close affiliation with such a varied and acclaimed group of artists was of enormous importance. His taste and sphere of understanding were as diverse as mine. He prioritized my compositions' meaning and lyricism, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of noisy popularity. I wanted a recording as intimate as the songs and their form. The only other musicians are Thomas and Jordan Hunt, my longtime collaborator who adds strings on select songs. It's just the three of us playing every sound you hear, using our instrumental and compositional craft, and Thomas' musician-producer's ear extraordinaire."