Meet The A’s!
June 9, 2022 - By Psychic Hotline
Today, Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath and Daughter of Swords’ Alexandra Sauser-Monnig announce their debut album as The A’s. Out July 15th, Fruit is a wonderful, weird and whimsical collection of 10 joyous, yodeling folk songs that invite the listener to cackle and cry along. Featuring new interpretations of lullabies, traditional ballads and rural standards, plus the original “When I Die” and other music that Meath and Sauser-Monnig simply love to sing, Fruit spans decade and genre, and celebrates the cosmic bond the two Mountain Man bandmates and longtime friends have cultivated.
Listen to lead single and album opener “He Needs Me,” a spectral reimagining of Harry Nilsson and Shelley Duvall’s 1980 Popeye classic, backed with The A’s own version of “Why I’m Grieving” here.
Step further into The A’s enchanted world in the music video for “He Needs Me,” co-directed by Amelia Meath and Spencer Kelly, and art-directed by Alexandra Sauser-Monnig. Full of mystical, mesmerizing flower figures and spellbinding stares, the visual is a vivid frolic through the woods:
From the backseat of a Prius on their first cross-country tour, to back porches and back stages, Amelia Meath and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig have been collaborating for upwards of 15 years, and while The A’s played their first show together in 2013, in their current home of North Carolina, it was the summer of 2021 when Fruit began. Inspired into existence by “Why I’m Grieving” and its original recording from the DeZurik Sisters – two farm girls who taught themselves to yodel amongst their animals – Meath and Sauser-Monnig decamped to Sylvan Esso’s Chapel Hill studio, Betty’s, where they rehearsed by day and created the album by the candle-lit night.
Produced by The A’s and Nick Sanborn, Fruit was made with a makeshift orchestra of nylon shorts, hair, shoes, ice chunk, gravel, frog samples and other unexpected objects, conjuring a strangely melodic and singularly percussive sound.
In addition to The A’s tongue-twisting harmonies and instrumental breadth, Fruit features vocals, electronics and more from Nick Sanborn, backing vocals from Alli Rogers, string arrangements from Gabriel Kahane on “He Needs Me,” saxophone from Sam Gendel on “Copper Kettle” and guitar from Alan Good Parker on “Swing and Turn Jubilee.” It also includes vocals from fellow North Carolina friend and collaborator Jenn Wasner (Flock of Dimes, Wye Oak), who sings on the album’s sole original song, “When I Die,” which Meath wrote as a list of wishes and instructions for the celebration of her death.
The A’s will debut Fruit live at Newport Folk Festival on July 22nd. More performances and tour dates will be announced soon, and in the meantime Meath and Sauser-Monnig have shared the following poem:
Squinkly bing bong shaking at the knees
Willow trees are quaky just a-bendin’ in the breeze
Tickle me tulip you’re a flower in the crown
I liked the way it sounded when you did it upside down
Rubber band snap and a clippity clap
Did you hear what happened Alli when I tipped my hat?
If you follow your glee to the sycamore tree
You just might find a rabbit in the willowy snee
I’ll take you to the movies and I’ll take you to the stream
I’ll tell you that I love you in the moonlight’s beam
With a song and a joke and twinkle in the eye
We might just take you on a ride in the sky!