Grammy-winning Alabama singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne has given fans a taste of her “most revealing album to date,” due out in April.
The self-titled project, her first solo album since 2015, will be released April 17, according to an announcement made Tuesday morning. Many of the songs on it come from an unreleased independent film by lyricist/director/screenwriter Cynthia Mort titled “When We Kill the Creators,” in which Lynne stars as “a deeply conflicted artist struggling at the intersection of art and commerce.”
The first track released, “Here I am,” was recorded on-set with a single microphone. It is a vulnerable yet forceful piano ballad, an unusual format for Lynne. It was posted Tuesday on YouTube with the album’s cover art, and in another clip showing Lynne’s performance of the song in the film.
The album is described as being sparse and emotionally raw, though it features several supporting musicians including Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Mimi Friedman, Ed Roth and Billy Mitchell. “As an artist, I don’t mind being naked,” Lynne said of the emotional openness of the project. “Everything is so fake, so manufactured these days, I want to get real. It’s the only way to communicate these days.”
Lynne won a Grammy for best new artist for her 1999 album “I Am Shelby Lynne.” Her most recent solo album is “I Can’t Imagine.” In 2017 she and sister Allison Moorer released “Not Dark Yet.” In fall 2019 Moorer released “Blood,” a memoir and companion album addressing a shared family tragedy and its aftermath.