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Joan Shelley carefully calibrates the particular resonances, timbres, and tempos of her music to slow her listeners’ heartbeats and ease their fears. Her songs function as lullabies, calming anxieties about the transition between consciousness and unconsciousness, despair and connection. In the song “Teal,” from her new album, Like the River to the Sea, she expresses her intent to “tear apart summer’s stuffy and stale rooms” to let in “fresh air, wind, and waves.” Her voice is close, pure in tone. It merges seamlessly with her musical partner, guitarist Nathan Salsburg.

Shelley grew up in Kentucky, and there’s a deep undercurrent of old Appalachian music, but the album feels ethereal and unmoored to place. It was recorded in Iceland with producer Jim Elkington and features guest vocals from Bonnie “Prince” Billy (singer-songwriter Will Oldham) on two songs.

Shelley and her band—Salsburg, violinist Anna Krippenstapel, drummer Nathan Bowles, and bassist Jake Xerxes Fussell (who also played an opening solo set)—performed at the arts-friendly Park Church Co-op in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Joan Shelley at soundcheck

Nathan Salsburg and Shelley

Nathan Bowles

Taking a moment to rest before the show

Jake Fussell performing a solo opening set

Cutting a lemon for tea

Set list

Salsburg packing up his guitar after the show

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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