Rhiannon Giddens Details Collaborative New Album ‘Songs of Our Native Daughters’Rolling Stone — Jonathan Bernstein
Rhiannon Giddens has announced details for the upcoming collaborative album Songs of Our Native Daughters, on which she formed the group Our Native Daughters with roots singers Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago). The project is a collection of original material inspired by New World slave narratives and composed by the four songwriters.
“Gathering a group of fellow black female artists who had and have a lot to say made it both highly collaborative and deeply personal,” Giddens says in a statement about the project. “I see this album as a part of a larger movement to reclaim the black female history of this country.”
Many of the songs, like the lead single “Mama’s Cryin Long,” written by Giddens, use excerpts and real-life stories from slave narratives as well as generational stories about slavery that had been passed down in members of the group’s own families.
The album, set for release on Smithsonian Folkways on February 22nd, was co-produced by Giddens alongside her longtime collaborator Dirk Powell. It is Giddens’ first collection of new music since 2017’s Freedom Highway, which came out the same year she became a MacArthur Genius Award recipient.
Songs of Our Native Daughters track list:
- “Black Myself”
- “Moon Meets the Sun”
- “Quasheba, Quasheba”
- “I Knew I Could Fly”
- “Polly Ann’s Hammer”
- “Mama’s Cryin’ Long”
- “Slave Driver”
- “Better Git Yer Learnin'”
- “Lavi Difisil”
- “Blood and Bones”
- “Music and Joy”
- “You’re Not Alone”