I spend a fair amount of my day staring into a computer screen, banging away at my keyboard. There are times when my earbuds are tucked in and turned way up, spilling a random combination of tracks from an ever-evolving playlist deep into my brain.
Lately getting some decent rotation on my playlist has been the new Ani DiFranco album - Allergic to Water. The 18th studio release from the Buffalo-born feminist icon is somewhat of a departure from the political and social justice commentary that her fans have come to expect. On Allergic to Water, we get the same independence and passion that has been her trademark, but we hear Ani DiFranco speaking in the voice of a mother raising children in an America that perhaps has not lived up to any of our expectations.
Fans of her more politically motivated material will need to look elsewhere as Allergic to Water focuses mostly on themes of motherhood, spirituality and relationships, though the sincerity of her songwriting remains entirely intact. "I'm pretty much happy all the time..." Ani refrains sweetly on track #8 and on the sultryTr'w (trouble u) the blues guitar does well to hint at a heavy New Orleans influence "get me in trouble you...make me ashamed to meet your mother you.."
Overall the album is by far her most low-key release to date, and the entire record is produced and mixed by Ani herself. Check out a few of the tracks below and get the full album here
...the recordings are documents of my current touring band just laying down the songs. It was empowering but terrifying to have the buck stop with me again in terms of the mixes…
i hope you enjoy this record. thank you for listening.
Ani DiFranco – guitar, tamburitza, wurli, harpsichord, xylophone, vocals
Todd Sickafoose – bass, piano, bilhorn organ, synthesizer, wurli, bells, orchestron
Terence Higgins – drums, percussion
Ivan Neville – wurli, clavinet, piano
Jenny Scheinman – violins, backing vocals
Mike Dillon – triangle (not a typo!)
Matt Perrine – sousaphone