“This is the only song on the album that specifically references the pandemic. With the halt of live music and the knowledge that COVID is a respiratory disease spread by aspirations, I felt not only silenced in my art and ability to perform but also in daily life and the ability to talk with people for fear of putting them or myself in danger. Freedom to me was not so much being allowed to go out into the world but to be able to express myself again vocally and to sing with other people. It’s also a song about finding gratitude and joy in difficult moments, the ‘waves of grace’ so to speak that we experience despite our rather grim world/times,” says Kelcy Mae of the latest single “Out Loud” off her project Ever More Nest’s upcoming album Out Here Now due out on August 19th.
While most listeners would rather hear talking heads mumble about bond yields than the pandemic, Mae wins with a rejuvenating voice that gives a refreshing theme of “freedom” not bogged down by political rhetoric.
Glide is premiering Ever More Nest’s “Out Loud” (below) which summons a new voice in the musical world of New Orleans, that put the song and lyrics first and lets the rhythmic foundation naturally follow. The band runs with the poetic freedom of Lilly Hiatt while conjuring the rocking anthems of Heartless Bastards in a tight wound of poignant Americana.
A native of North Louisiana, Ever More Nest’s Kelcy Wilburn (“Kelcy Mae”) was equally influenced by the gospel, country, and blues of her Bible Belt hometown as she was by the emotional rawness of the artists that consumed her generation: Cranberries, Counting Crows, Tori Amos, Radiohead, et al. At 18, she moved to New Orleans, where open-mindedness and acceptance gave her the freedom to be herself and to find her voice. As a student of creative writing, she fostered a love of language evident across her early releases as Kelcy Mae and across Ever More Nest’s debut and sophomore albums.
The Ever More Nest debut, The Place That You Call Home (2018), was nominated for Best Alt-Country Album in the Independent Music Awards, and its single, “Major Tom,” named a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and Unsigned Only Music Competition. Following its release, Wilburn and her cadre of accomplished New Orleans musicians graced a variety of stages across the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast United States, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee’s Summerfest music festival, and listening rooms across the country.
Inspiration for the band name “Ever More Nest” came from a line in a poem by Mary Ann Samyn, which Wilburn found striking in its ability to evoke both a nostalgia for and discomfort with place. The Place That You Call Home is likewise obsessed with the idea of place and poses the universal question: “Just where do I belong?” According to Folk Radio UK, “The answer is clearly in any discerning Americana CD collection.”
For Ever More Nest’s sophomore album, Out Here Now, Wilburn again teamed up with Nashville-based Producer Neilson Hubbard, multi-instrumentalist Will Kimbrough, and bassist Dean Marold. New York native Fats Kaplin was brought in for the album’s emotive fiddle, strings, and pedal steel.
“I’m not done living in the spacious, warm, musical landscape we created on The Place That You Call Home, so it only felt natural to re-enlist Neilson, Will, and Dean for volume two,” says Wilburn.
Featuring songs written both before and during the pandemic, Out Here Now builds upon the immersive sounds and themes of its predecessor with textures, tones, and lyricism that delve deep into what makes us human. Wilburn calls the album a “journey to and celebration of the soul that lends itself well to the active-listeners, dreamers, travelers and seekers.”