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Moving Sketches: In A New Video, Joan Shelley Gets Animated

Kentucky singer-songwriter Joan Shelley, working with the gifted guitarist Nathan Salsburg, made my favorite album of 2015: Over And Even, a collection of dreamy, gorgeous folk songs that exude comfort and calm. There's not a misstep on that wonderful record, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Shelley and Salsburg's next project — a 7" single with two previously unreleased songs, "Cost Of The Cold" and "Here And Whole" — continues in the same soothing vein.

The A-side, "Cost Of The Cold," could have fit cleanly on Over And Even, but it stands on its own, too — thanks, in part, to the beautiful video on this page. In it, artist Douglas Miller turns a series of lovely sketches into evocative moving imagery that pairs up beautifully with the pair's music. "It is a hand-drawn animation that was made with hundreds of individual drawings, shot frame-by-frame over several months," Miller writes via email.

In a separate email, Shelley adds: "This song was inspired by a particular waterfall, dog, and recent season in Kentucky. Nathan Salsburg and I worked out an arrangement for it in my backyard. We met up with James Elkington in Chicago, where we recorded it in April."

Joan Shelley's new 7" single, "Cost Of The Cold" b/w "Here And Whole," comes out Sept. 2 via No Quarter.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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