As winter slowly fades to spring, Alysia Kraft reminds listeners of those glistening moments of warmth and connection under the summer sun. Detailing that whimsical and freeing moment when love finds you, Kraft’s “Hamilton Pool” is a candid indie-pop reflection of the unexpected beauty of life.
Kraft explains that the track is “about meeting Staci Foster, my partner for nine years and my musical collaborator in Whippoorwill.” Back in 2012, a friend recruited Foster to take Kraft out of the chaos of SXSW in order to explore the lesser-known parts of the city for a little while. “She picked me up and took me to the magic limestone grotto outside Austin that is Hamilton Pool,” she says. Arriving just 10 minutes before the natural area closed, the two decided to stake out their claim and hide while everyone else cleared out. “We had a magical 30 minutes or so of skinny dipping and basically falling in love until they found Staci’s truck in the parking lot and ultimately chased us out,” she explains.
Having amassed devoted regional followings for projects Whippoorwill and The Patti Fiasco as a celebrated songwriter and incomparably magnetic frontwoman, Kraft has sold out most of Colorado’s big stages and directly supported icons Bon Jovi, Blondie, Nathanial Rateliff and Bonnie Raitt on significantly bigger ones. Embracing the complexities of growing up queer on a cattle ranch in small-town Wyoming and choosing to love within a landscape that didn’t always love back, First Light is a triumphant homecoming and a defining solo debut. Smart, retro-influenced indie pop and lush, bioluminescent folk will find crossover appeal with fans of HAIM, Sheryl Crow, Sharon Van Etten, and Waxahatchee. Enlisting close collaborator J. Tom Hnatow & Grammy-nominated Justin Craig to produce and mix and acclaimed engineer, Sarah Register to master, First Light is open-hearted and thoughtfully hook-adorned– with soundscapes as dimensional as Kraft’s western upbringing and the liberated narratives contained therein.
Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, and Julien Baker announce The Wild Hearts Tour, an epic co-headlining tour that sees these three legendary songwriters, all known for their incredible, cathartic live performances, playing across North America this July and August. The tour consists of mostly outdoor venues, with the exception of the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and Massey Hall in Toronto. Each artist will play with their own respective band. Tickets are on sale this Friday, January 14th at 10am local time, and special guest Spencer. will support on all dates.
“I’m so thrilled to be traveling and playing music alongside Spencer., Julien Baker and Sharon Van Etten. It’s truly a dream, something to hold and share collaboratively as we get out from under the last few years. I know for fans it’s something different and special too, and for me, it’s sort of like a caravan summer camp-a chance to get to know other artists in a deeper way and talk about music and life and how it affects us all as we move forward. Most of all, I am excited to sing live again, in an open and real way, both alone and together with my tourmates.”
– Angel Olsen
“Sharon and Angel are artists that I have genuinely admired for many years and whose music has honestly informed much of my own writing and music making, and I’m thrilled to be sharing a stage with them every night. I think after interacting with their recorded work separately so much, it will be special to get to learn from them as we share the space of performance.”
– Julien Baker
“Our aim is to strengthen our respective communities and promote camaraderie in the music world in a safe and enjoyable environment while supporting, A New Way Of Life, an organization that we feel is making genuine impact for the underserved. We have carefully chosen the venues we think will deliver the best experience for us and our fans. I look up to Angel and have the deepest admiration for Julien and Spencer.. It is an honor, to say the least, to be able to share the stage with such talent on a tour across North America.”
– Sharon Van Etten
Last year saw Van Etten and Olsen collaborating on “Like I Used To,” a true knockout and one of 2021’s best songs. Additionally, Baker released Little Oblivions, one of 2021’s most praised albums.
The Wild Hearts Tour has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket will go to support people rebuilding their lives after incarceration.
The Wild Hearts Tour Dates
Thu. Jul. 21 – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap Center For the Performing Arts *
Fri. Jul. 22 – Asheville, NC @ Rabbit Rabbit *
Sat. Jul. 23 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
Mon. Jul. 25 – Austin, TX @ Moody Amphitheater *
Fri. Jul. 29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre *
Sat. Jul 30 – Berkeley, Ca @ Greek Theatre *
Tu. Aug. 2 – Troutdale, OR @ McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater *
Wed. Aug. 3 – Redmond, WA @ Marymoor Amphitheater *
Fri. Aug. 5 – Boise, ID @ Idaho Botanical Garden *
Sat. Aug. 6 – Salt Lake City, UT @ TBA *
Sun. Aug. 7 – Denver, CO @ Sculpture Park *
Tue. Aug. 9 – Minneapolis, MN @ Surly Brewing Festival Field *
Wed. Aug 10 – Chicago, IL @ TBA *
Thu. Aug. 11 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Eccentric Cafe *
Fri. Aug. 12 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
Mon. Aug. 15 – Shelburne, VT @ The Green at Shelburne Museum *
Tue. Aug. 16 – LaFayette, NY @ Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards *
Thu. Aug. 18 – Boston, MA @ Leader Bank Pavilion *
Fri. Aug. 19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Skyline Stage at The Mann *
Sun. Aug. 21 – New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage *
Both Sharon and Angel have long-admired one another from the close-but-far distance of life on tour, a life that unifies them even as they’ve spent years criss-crossing each other from miles, countries, continents apart. Ask them each about the song’s origin story and they inadvertently stitch a mirror together, a story of mutual admiration and, lucky for us, eventual collaboration. “Even though we weren’t super close, I always felt supported by Angel and considered her a peer in this weird world of touring. We highway high-fived many times along the way…I finally got the courage in June of 2020 to reach out to see if she would want to sing together. I got greedy and quickly sent her a track I had been working on,” says Sharon.
“I’ve met with Sharon here and there throughout the years and have always felt too shy to ask her what she’s been up to or working on,” says Angel. “The song reminded me immediately of getting back to where I started, before music was expected of me, or much was expected of me, a time that remains pure and real in my heart.”