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Artist Spotlight: Allison Russell

People 09.07.21

We could write a book about Allison Russell — the singer, songwriter, poet, and activist — who recently released her first solo album, “Outside Child.” But this multi-hyphenate talent is already working on her own memoir and honestly, we’re not surprised. Russell, a French-Canadian artist who lives in Nashville, has so much wisdom and light to share.

As harrowing as parts of Russell’s childhood experiences have been, she explores and reclaims her story to cathartic success in her new album. The revelatory 50-minute record feels at once like a personal journey, but also encompasses larger themes of intergenerational and ancestral histories. Like Russell herself, the music cannot be boxed into one particular category. The songs can sound like lullabies, Al-Green inspired R&B, or Southern country tunes. Through it all, Russell chooses to emphasize love, connection and creation.

These instincts play out in her community work in Nashville. Russell is passionate about contributing her time and talents to grassroots movements. Whether it’s performing for fundraising efforts around Moving Nashville Forward, an organization working to disrupt poverty in North Nashville, or doing workshops in schools to raise awareness about cycles of violence and bigotry. 

Needless to say, Russell is already a legend in our book. Before her Sun Sessions set, she shared her vision of what a legend is: “It’s someone who is their most authentic, best self…more often than not.” In her music and in her ethos, we'd say she's done just that.

Check out her album now at Magnolia Record Store. 

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