A near-perfect set of stark, beautiful songs by one of our very best artists

It’s been eight years since Gillian Welch put out an album, and a full decade since the release of her masterpiece—and one of our all-time favorite records—Time (The Revelator). Happily, the singer-songwriter’s new release, The Harrow & The Harvest, was worth the very long wait. (Out on the 28th.)

Welch and her longtime collaborator, Dave Rawlings, started work on the album in 2009. Some of the songs you’ll hear are much older, heavily road-tested, and extensively revised. (The Neil Youngish “The Way It Will Be,” which some fans know as “Throw Me a Rope,” has been kicking around, in one form or another, for longer than it takes most people to finish their doctoral dissertations.) Others are of more recent vintage, but like so much of Welch’s work—which contains strong echoes of the Carter Family—they sound timeless. There are ten tracks in all, and all of them are stripped down and exquisite.

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A near-perfect set of stark, beautiful songs by one of our very best artists