Acclaimed musician and scholar Jake Blount will release his highly-anticipated new album, The New Faith, September 23 on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings—Blount’s first project in partnership with the esteemed non-profit label (pre-order/pre-save). The follow up to 2020’s breakthrough debut, Spider Tales, which The Guardian awarded a perfect five stars and called, “an instant classic,” The New Faith will be released as part of Smithsonian Folkways’ African American Legacy series—co-conceived with and supported by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
A dystopian Afrofuturistic concept album, the record features ten reimagined and reinterpreted traditional Black spirituals across twelve tracks in addition to two original spoken word pieces.
Conceived, written and recorded during the darkest months of lockdowns—while Blount himself was still recovering from what he now knows was likely a bout with long COVID—and just after the unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd, the album aims to envision what Black religious music would sound like in a not-so-distant future world devastated by climate change.
Produced by Blount along with Brian Slattery, the album was recorded mainly in Blount’s own bedroom in Providence, RI. In addition to Blount on vocals, fiddle, banjo, percussion and strings and Slattery on percussion, guitar and strings, the album features guest appearances by Demeanor, D’orjay The Singing Shaman, Samuel James, Kaïa Kater, Lizzie No, Mali Obomsawin, Brandi Pace, Rissi Palmer and Lillian Werbin.
In celebration of the album, Blount will embark on an extensive headline tour this fall including stops at Chicago’s The Hideout, Minneapolis’ First Avenue, Philadelphia’s World Café Live, Washington, DC’s Pearl Street Warehouse, Brooklyn’s Jalopy Theater and Boston’s Club Passim as well as appearances at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival, AmericanaFest and Bourbon and Bluegrass Festival.