ATLANTA, GA - "Really good, really unexpected, and really different" is how Village Voice describes Girlyman's lyric driven folk-pop. But that can also describe the year that inspired their fifth studio album Supernova, available June 19th (distribution through Burnside).
"A supernova is a dying star," explains Girlyman member Doris Muramatsu, who was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2010. The three founding members of Girlyman (Muramatsu, Nate Borofsky, and Tylan Greenstein) had spent ten years playing and singing harmony together, from early days in tiny coffeehouses, through long opening runs with the Indigo Girls and Dar Williams, all the way to festival main stages and the country's premier acoustic venues. The band, now a quartet with the addition of former Po' Girl drummer JJ Jones in 2009, suddenly feared for its future. "I was in the hospital getting blood transfusions and chemotherapy," Doris continues. "We cancelled a month of tours and thought that was it."
An autobiography of this unique time for the band, Supernova's thirteen songs resonate with themes of uncertainty and transformation. But the album is not a dirge; instead, the band reaches, as always, for hope. As Slate Magazine wrote, "Girlyman doesn't wallow in such emotions; the band approaches them frankly, capturing, in a story or a surprising metaphor, a feeling you've had but never heard so well-expressed."
"Nate had written a song called 'Supernova' that kept going through my head all throughout my stay in the hospital," says Doris. "It wasn't written about me, but it helped me get through that time. Later I looked up the definition of 'supernova.' It turns out that while it is a dying star, it also gives birth to new stars." Indeed, nine months after her diagnosis, Muramatsu's cancer went into remission and the band was reborn. "As difficult as it was, I wouldn't trade the experience — it got us where we are now."
Mixed by Grammy Award winner Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn), and featuring guest appearances by the Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers among others, Supernova is the first Girlyman album to include the kinetic drumming of newest member JJ Jones. The album is available digitally on May 1st and in-stores on June 19th. A CD release tour is underway in the U.S. through April, and the UK and mainland Europe in May and June. Their U.S. tour will resume in the fall.
Confirmed dates are as follows:
April 12 OGUNQUIT, ME Jonathan's
April 13 KINGSTON, MA Book Shack
April 14 NORTHAMPTON, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
April 15 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY Caffe Lena
April 17 CAMBRIDGE, MA Club Passim
April 18 CAMBRIDGE, MA Club Passim
April 19 CAMBRIDGE, MA Club Passim
April 20 COLLINSVILLE, CT Bridge Street Live
April 21 OLD SAYBROOK, CT The Kate
April 22 NEW YORK CITY, NY City Winery
April 26 PHILADELPHIA, PA World Café Live
April 27 WILMINGTON, DE World Café Live at the Queen
April 28 ALEXANDRIA, VA The Birchmere
May 9 ATHENS, GA The Melting Point
May 12 DECATUR, GA Eddie's Attic
May 16- 25 UNITED KINGDOM
My 29-June5 NETHERLANDS
July 6-8 COURTENAY, BC Vancouver Island MusicFest
July 27-29 HILLSDALE, NY Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
August 18 LYONS, CO Rocky Mountain Folk Festival