MICHELLE MALONE’S ACOUSTIC WINTER
"on Acoustic Winter, Malone creates gorgeous, gentle, personal songs that showcase her pristine vocal qualities and depth" - Atlanta Music Guide
Michelle Malone’s Acoustic Winter is just what the doctor ordered for dark and cold days without being at all prescriptive. Instead of being that boisterous friend who insists you brighten up and ditch your winter blues – you know the kind that drags you out to vapid parties and when that fails, douses you in the glare of a sun lamp and puts on a loud Salsa station – Acoustic Winter is the friend who curls up beside you in the dark. Each song, from the soaring “Home” to the ethereal “Mirror Ball,” exudes warmth and wisdom while conveying an intimate knowledge of life’s deepest loves and losses. Like echoing harmonics, these central themes resonate throughout the record, providing Acoustic Winter with a mesmerizing continuity of mood – the rare kind achieved by records like Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Ray LaMontagne’s Till The Sun Turns Black. Acoustic Winter is Malone’s most stripped down recording to date and it reveals a songwriter and a musician at the top of her game. However, it is Acoustic Winter’s sheer vulnerability that stands out as truly breathtaking.
Malone started making music early, singing in her hometown church at age four and soon after that, started sneaking into her brother’s closet to borrow his coveted guitar. After many sibling battles waged, Michelle Malone finally got her own guitar and she hasn’t been without one since. Her guitar chops, her trademark voice, and her songwriting craft have won her critical acclaim and numerous awards over the years including: best album (Atlanta magazine), 2 time best acoustic guitarist (Creative Loafing, IAC), and 5 time female vocalist of the year (Creative Loafing), Best Blues Guitarist (IAC.com). Malone has played every state in the Union and toured all over the world but she calls Atlanta home.
“Equal parts badass guitar slinger and sweet songstress, with masterful lyrical introspection – sublime to raucous.
“Raucous and jubilant – somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne comes Malone alternating between soulful ballads and rowdy, riffy blasters.”
- ROLLING STONE
Malone describes Acoustic Winter as a record she just “had to get out of [her] system.” This past fall the songwriter found herself meditating on losses and heartaches, her own and those that loved ones had endured during the year. Autumn, a time when Michelle typically finds herself getting “down and dark,” was the perfect season for this introspective record to bloom. Initially, it began as a series of acoustic demos for a possible EP – just Michelle and band mate, Ben Holst, tinkering around at Southern Tracks, one of Atlanta’s most storied and historic studios. When Michelle tracked the vocals and guitars on those first few tracks she had no idea they were going to be the final ones released on a record. Hearing some piano parts, she hunted and pecked around until they sounded right – figuring she would get a real pianist to re-record them later. When that opportunity finally came, Michelle decided mostly in favor of her original parts. She realized that their simplicity complemented the songs and that anything else would offset the stark beauty of her novice playing. Producer Gerry Hansen worked with Michelle to craft the sparse and delicate production that perfectly supports the songs rather than overpowering them. It sounds like Michelle’s playing her 1966 Gibson J45 right across from you, the sound as warm and resonant as in a living room performance. Her soulful voice is at turns ringing and hushed, as if this intimate performance were just for you.
Acoustic Winter features Michelle’s first instrumental track, “A Walk in The Woods,” an intricate guitar piece with classical and folk elements. It pays homage to acoustic guitar greats like Bert Jansch and Lindsey Buckingham all the while still sounding distinctly original. Michelle’s Taylor 12 String, a gift from a fan, is also featured prominently on Acoustic Winter. Michelle says that whenever she plays it, she’s reminded of the kindness of people, of how good we can be to each other, and that she pours this awareness into the music. In other words, she plays from the heart. She also plays like a pro, achieving a sound as clean as Jimmy Page on “Over the Hills and Far Away” and David Gilmore on “Wish You Were Here.” Acoustic Winter is a treat for guitar aficionados.
Acoustic Winter is set for release on February 4th, right in the middle of what is often the coldest stretch of winter. This is an appropriate release date for an album that epitomizes the best things about our most difficult seasons. They are a time for drawing in what we hold most dear and letting go of everything else. This album provides the soundtrack for such times and offers the listener companionship in and of itself.
"If anyone had any doubts about Malone’s raw talent, this release should put it to rest. She entered a studio with an acoustic guitar and quickly recorded an impressive collection of originals and covers. The aptly titled album conjures up images of sitting in a rural cabin staring out at gently falling snow. Her cover of the Rolling Stones “Wild Horses” is a favorite, as is this Malone original." - TWANGVILLE
"Malone's upcoming album, Acoustic Winter, lends itself to so much introspection, you should expect to have a flash of genius while listenting to it. Her cover of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" is a great stripped-down tribute to the original. Malone's album is raw, and a perfect soundtrack to winter." - The Advocate