Peggy Seeger releases a new single, ‘Gotta Get Home By Midnight’, the final track to emerge from what is ‘likely’ to be her final album of original material, ‘First Farewell’, due out on April 9, 2021 via Red Grape Music. Mellowing, however, is not Seeger’s style and she’s not going quietly. Her remarkable 24th solo album underscores her importance & continued relevance as a songwriter and performer, cementing her place as one of the most uncompromising and inspiring female artists of any genre and age. The album will arrive ahead of two live shows performed to socially distanced audiences at London’s Cecil Sharp House on May 27, 2021, with Peggy’s (likely) final UK tour, now rescheduled to March 2022. The lyric video for ‘Gotta Get Home By Midnight’ is available to stream now from here, alongside a live video blending archive images from across her near 70 year long career, out now here. The audio will be available from April 2 on all DSPs from here.
Seeger’s nimble new fingerpicked track debunks clichéd ideas about elder generations with Peggy’s customary verve and humour. Speaking about ‘Gotta Get Home By Midnight’, she notes wryly; I wrote this song to combine a couple of different ideas around ageing. The first is that when I wake up in the morning I can feel as old as the hills but I gradually feel younger as the day goes on. The second is that however old you are, you can still be very passionate and want to race home to be with your love. I do have to be in bed by midnight though as my coach will change into a pumpkin. There’s a time when everyone has to go and you shouldn’t apologise for it.
There is so much to say about Peggy Seeger: a monumental figure in folk music in the UK and USA, still writing and touring at age 85, an unbroken 68-year career, a constant musical innovator (aged 77 she was a vocalist on dance single ‘England’ by Broadcaster, a Radio 1 Record of the Week), a style icon (Bella Freud naming a sweater after her in 2019), numerous international awards, and an active campaigner on the environment alongside social and feminist issues.
Foremost, Seeger is a passionate advocate of the ability of music and community to change lives. With storytelling running through her bones and an unshakable belief that music is activism, ‘First Farewell’ delivers powerful tales both personal and political, squaring up to life-long love, loneliness, young male suicide, modern slavery, social media addiction and on recent single ‘The Invisible Woman’ (co-written with her son Neill MacColl), the ways in which society marginalises its older generations. ‘First Farewell’ nonetheless expresses Peggy’s indefatigable optimism, inquisitiveness and lust for life.
The album is the first to be written and recorded entirely with Peggy’s immediate family members – sons Calum and Neill MacColl (established musicians & songwriters) and daughter-in-law Kate St John (Dream Academy). It’s also her first album to reference her roots as a classically trained pianist rather than entirely as a folk musician. The simple piano arrangements hark back to the avant-garde compositions of her mother, the Guggenheim fellowship composer Ruth Crawford Seeger.
Pre-order First Farewell: https://ffm.to/