Kelly Willis
Kelly Willis Kelly Willis, named by NPR as “alternative country’s golden goddess,” returns after five years with the much-anticipated Translated From Love. The album is the follow-up to the acclaimed Easy (2002), of which Rolling Stone said, “Kelly Willis’ sweet, burnished voice practically spells heartache... Willis drapes her yearning voice over the tough but funny lyrics...” Rykodisc will release the new album on June 26. Produced by long-time collaborator Chuck Prophet, Translated From Love is Willis’ most adventurous album to date. Prophet says of Willis, “She’s one of those singers who can make a track come alive. She’s got that kind of charisma.” The album’s 12 tracks are comprised of originals, covers and collaborations. Willis co-wrote the six original songs including the Willis/Prophet tunes “Sweet Little One” and “Losing You,” which feature the Tosca String Quartet and Greg Leisz on the twelve-string guitar and pedal steel. Appearing on the record are Willis’ husband and highly regarded country music songwriter Bruce Robison on two tracks, (“The More I’m Around You,” “Too Much To Lose”) and acclaimed singer-songwriter Jules Shear who contributes as a songwriter and musician on three tracks (“Don’t Know Why,” “Lucky or Something Like It,” and “Too Much To Lose”). Translated From Love includes covers of Adam Green’s “Teddy Boys,” Stephen Yerkey’s “Translated From Love,” and a raucous, countrified version of Iggy Pop’s “Success” featuring The Gourds and Michael Ramos. Since her debut in 1990, Willis has released six albums. In 1999 Rykodisc released her breakthrough album What I Deserve, of which The New York Times said, “She offers painful tales of lost love but then expresses the resolve to move on. Hovering between romantic fantasy and deflated realism, Ms. Willis taps a rare subtlety of feeling.” Willis has spent the five years between Easy and Translated From Love raising her four children. Willis says, “The whole experience was surprising at every turn and challenging, too, doing some material that might not be what people expect out of me. I felt like I had something to prove, and I want people to do a double-take when they listen to this.” A national tour in support of the album will be announced shortly.