Bonny Light Horseman


Bonny Light Horseman–the trio of Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman–have signed to Jagjaguwar and today released their debut single for the label, the cathartic and resonant “When I Was Younger.” The band also announced a headlining U.S. tour, including two nights at NYC’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, as well as summer festival performances at Bonnaroo Music & Arts, Red Wing Roots, and more. A full itinerary is listed below and tickets go on-sale February 23rd at 10am local time.

Produced by Kaufman and recorded at Levis (pronounced: “leh-viss”) Corner House–a century-old Irish watering hole in Ballydehob, County Cork–“When I Was Younger” is out now alongside a video filmed on location and shot by Jason Lee, Donal Scannell, and Colm Rooney. Mitchell and Johnson’s honeyed voices meet and transform into a two-headed beast formed from pent-up emotion as the lyrics reckon with motherhood, maturation, and all of the things polite society doesn’t say out loud. “There’s a whole genre of trad songs with this ‘domestic frustration’ sentiment, like ‘Single Girl Married Girl,’ ‘Wish I Was A Single Girl Again,’ etc. This song is inspired by those, but we wanted to write it as a duet, to tell two sides of a story,” says the band. “We recorded it live, so you can hear coughing, cars, and the whole audience did that wordless wail with us in the middle. It felt like a primal collective shake-off. Next morning we were collecting our things from the pub and the owner Joe was out front in flip-flops sweeping up the cigs from the street singing, ‘When I was younger, I used to dress fancy…’”

Over the years, Bonny Light Horseman’s core trio has amassed an incomparable collected resume. Mitchell is a celebrated solo artist as well as the playwright and songwriter behind the hit Broadway musical Hadestown, which notched eight Tony Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Johnson is best known as the mind behind beloved indie mainstays Fruit Bats, as a longtime collaborator with The Shins, and as a film score composer. And Kaufman is a multi-hyphenate extraordinaire: songwriter, producer, and position player, having recorded and performed with artists ranging from Bob Weir to The War on Drugs to Taylor Swift, Hiss Golden Messenger and The Hold Steady. As a group, Bonny Light Horseman’s self-titled debut album received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Folk Album, while the track “Deep in Love” was nominated for Best American Roots Performance. Its critically-acclaimed follow-up, Rolling Golden Holy, saw them perform for CBS Saturday Morning and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s #LateShowMeMusic series, and landed on year-end best-of lists by Paste, Brooklyn Vegan, Under The Radar, and MOJO, amongst others.

As they round the corner toward a new album, Bonny Light Horseman arrive with a distinct sense of grace, and a reminder that life is most lived when things aren’t so perfect.

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