“Oh Me, Oh My” By Lonnie Holley Ft: Michael Stipe
Lonnie Holley has shared a visualizer for the title-track of his forthcoming album Oh Me Oh My, the song features the vocals of Micheal Stipe. The full-length drops on March 10th via Jagjaguwar. The album features other collaborations from Sharon Van Etten (“None of Us Have But a Little While”), Moor Mother (“I Am Part of the Wonder,” “Earth Will Be There”), Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (“Kindness Will Follow Your Tears”) and Rokia Koné (“If We Get Lost They Will Find Us”).
During the recording sessions, Holley and producer Jacknife Lee (The Cure, REM, Modest Mouse) would discuss the essence of the songs and distill Holley’s words to their most immediate center. On the title track, which deals with mutual human understanding, Holley is as profound as ever in far fewer phrases: “The deeper we go, the more chances there are, for us to understand the oh-me’s and understand the oh-my’s.”
Holley’s harrowing youth and young manhood in the Jim Crow South are well-told at this point — taken away from his family as a child by a burlesque dancer who ultimately left him in the care of the proprietors of a whiskey house; his abuse at the infamous Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children (he is a primary subject of Unreformed, a new podcast from iHeartMedia); the destruction of his remarkable art environment by the city of Birmingham. But, as mentioned, Holley’s music is less a performance of pain endured and more a display of perseverance, of relentless hope, of Thumbs Up For Mother Universe.
Holley reflects, “My art and my music are always closely tied to what is happening around me, and the last few years have given me a lot to thoughtsmith about. When I listen back to these songs I can feel the times we were living through. I’m deeply appreciative of the collaborators, especially Jacknife, who helped the songs take shape and really inspired me to dig deeper within myself.”
Holley’s music and visual art (which is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Gallery of Art and is represented by the illustrious Blum & Poe) is much more about our place in the cosmos than the cosmos itself. It’s about how we overcome adversity and tremendous pain; about how we develop and maintain an affection for our fellow travelers; about how we stop wishing for some “beyond” and start caring for the one rock we have.
Oh Me Oh My
2. I Am A Part Of The Wonder (with Moor Mother)
3. Oh Me, Oh My (with Michael Stipe)
4. Earth Will Be There (with Moor Mother)
5. Mount Meigs
6. Better Get That Crop In Soon
7. Kindness Will Follow Your Tears (with Bon Iver)
8. None Of Us Have But A Little While (with Sharon Van Etten)
9. If We Get Lost They Will Find Us (with Rokia Koné)
10. I Can’t Hush
11. Future Children
Pre-order Oh Me Oh My by Lonnie Holley HERE
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