Today, acclaimed singer-songwriter, author, entrepreneur, lawyer and model Karen Elson releases her highly anticipated new album, GREEN, via Big Yellow Dog Music. Co-written and co-produced with the GRAMMY®-winning team of Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour and star-crossed), Elson’s third studio album features such acclaimed singles as “Lightning Strikes,” ” Green” and “Shattered Shadow”.
“When you hear the record, I want you to feel like it’s spring, the sun is rising again, the leaves are turning green and there’s hope in the air,” she continues. “2021 has been a year of reckoning. I found myself for real, found out what makes me tick, and tried to figure out who I am. Now it’s time for me to run the road, life live to the fullest, and see what happens.”
GREEN, which follows 2010’s The Ghost Who Walks and 2017’s Double Roses, as well as Elson’s 2020 EP Radio Redhead, Vol.1, finds the Nashville-based British-born artist taking his songwriting in a new direction. lighter and happier. Written and recorded in the midst of the pandemic, the album served as Elson’s refuge.
“I needed the sun,” she recalls. “My songs usually have a darker undercurrent. I wanted a silver lining with an effervescent quality that was at odds with the difficult times we were in. The album was written to sound like medicine in the form of ‘a bottle of sunshine.’
That sentiment extends to the three songs that led the album, including the jubilant “Lighting Strikes,” which arrived last summer as the soundtrack to Moschino’s inventive Resort 2022 campaign, Moschino: The Musical. Led by the fashion house’s creative director Jeremy Scott, the colorful visual featured Elson as the face of the campaign.
More recently, Elson teased the record with the ethereal “Broken Shadow” and the languorous “Green”, attracting warm receptions from many outlets including Stereogum, Financial Times, The Guardian, NME, Nylon and Spin, which praised the former track as “an inviting country-pop song. But as the title suggests, this charming melody covers deeper emotional territory.”
The song also appears in HBO Max’s new movie, Moonshot, starring Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse. Additionally, the soundtrack includes two other Elson originals: “Wild Blue” and “Heaven Shines a Light”, the latter of which is performed by rising singer-songwriter Cyn.
Alongside GREEN’s first three singles, the album includes such jaw-dropping tracks as opener “My Sparrow”, described by the artist as “a declaration of love”. Elson later revisits the song in Portuguese (“Passarinho”), while she offers a French version of the album’s title track (“Vert”).
The instrumental “Fergus in the Sun”, meanwhile, is a love song of a different kind, written in tribute to his late ginger cat, Fergus. The melancholic “Wishing Well” is inspired by the classic standards of the Great American Songbook. “Listening to ‘Moon River’ by Audrey Hepburn was one of the most beautiful experiences [during quarantine]“, recalls Elson. “Its simplicity and hope are exactly what I wanted to capture in this album.
Other highlights include “Modern Love,” which marks a stylistic departure for Elson. “It’s my hilarious take on the instantaneity of the world of relationships, flirting and seduction through social media and dating apps,” she explains. “I’ve had a lot of experiences as a single woman…While I’m in a serious relationship now, to get to a place where I could welcome that into my life, I had to take a wild ride in things of the heart.” Another autobiographical song is “Silver Lining”, in which the artist sings a message of hope for herself.
“It was a poetic moment to be on top and think, ‘Okay, I’m fine. I’m going to get through this,'” she reveals. “When I sing it, I feel like I’m wrapped in a warm sweater with the sun on my face.”
The album is completed with “Look Over My Shoulder”, in which Elson reflects on the reciprocity of friendships and how her closest relationships have helped her through the most difficult times. “There’s a sweetness to it, but also a sense of pain,” she notes. “I say, ‘It’s going to be a long road. It’s going to be a long time until we’re free at home, so watch over my heart.”
Listen to the new single here: