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via Ghostly International

The first album in over six years from American songwriter Julie Byrne is a testament to patience and determination, the willingness to transform through the desolation of loss, the vitality of renewal, and the courage to rise, forever changed. For nearly a decade, Byrne has moved through the world as a characteristically private artist largely outside the public eye. A self-taught musician that has committed her life to her work, she now emerges from a deeply trying and generative period with the most powerful, lustrous, and life-affirming music of her career, The Greater Wings. While they hold the plasticity of grief and trauma, the songs are universally resonant, unbridled in their devotion and joy, held up by the love and alliance of a chosen family. Byrne leans further into atmospheres both expansive and intimate; the lush, evocative songcraft flows between her signature fingerpicked guitar, synthesizer, and a newly adopted piano, made wider by flourishes of harp and strings. It is the transcendent sound of resource, of friendship that was never without romance, of loyalty that burns from within like a heart on fire, and the life force summoned in unrepeatable moments — raw, gorgeous, and wild.

Byrne has narrowly willed The Greater Wings into existence, honoring the legacy of Eric Littmann, her longtime creative partner, producer, and synth player who, halfway through the album’s making, died suddenly at the age of 31. The material was written across several seasons, each its own lifetime: imagery from nights on tour, chord shapes found pre-pandemic. Writing continued through lockdown, the converging traumas of isolation, the long horizon of emergence, and the drives cross-country for the collaborations that would give shape to The Greater Wings. Recording began in Chicago in Eric Littmann’s home studio space in the winter of 2020 and continued in New York with harpist Marilu Donovan (LEYA) in the spring of 2021; Littmann, true to form, brought a portable recording set up in his suitcase.

Watch the official music video for Summer Glass


+ get tickets for the 2023 tour

07-23 Hebden, England – Bridge Trades Club
07-26 London, England – Kings Place Hall
07-28 Brighton, England – St Barts
08-18-20 Brecon Beacons, Wales – Green Man Festival
09-05 Seattle, WA – Fremont Abbey
09-06 Portland, OR – Polaris Hall
09-08 San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
09-09 Felton, CA – Felton Music Hall
09-12 Los Angeles, CA Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
09-14 Pioneertown, CA – Pappy and Harriet’s
09-19 Washington, D.C. – Songbyrd
09-20 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church (Sanctuary)
09-21 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
09-29 Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
09-30 Somerville, MA – Crystal Ballroom