Bearsville Theater Presents Ani DiFranco on Tuesday, August 2!
The transcendent new album from Ani Di Franco, Revolutionary Love, marks the latest proof of one of her most powerful gifts as an artist: a rare ability to give voice to our deepest frustrations and tensions, on both a personal and political level. “My songs have always reflected an acute connection between my personal life and the life of my society,” says the trailblazing musician and activist. “As I started to come out of years of dealing with marriage problems, I saw my entire country in the same situation, the complete breakdown of communication and loss of empathy and connection. But after what seems like unforgivable damage, then where do you go? You can’t kick each other off the planet, you can’t change the past, so what then?”
As the 22nd studio album in an iconic career— a musical career which forged one degree of separation between Pete Seeger and Prince and the accompanying career of founding her own precedent-setting label, Righteous Babe Records—Revolutionary Love began taking shape in the final weeks before the Covid 19 pandemic came to change the plans of everyone everywhere. Returning home to New Orleans from a West Coast tour in February of 2020, with a new batch of songs written on the road, Di Franco found herself without a path to recording those songs and lost in the creative abyss of the collective need for social isolation. “And then I decided I wanted to start pushing this new music out by fall… before the election,” she recalls. “I felt very strongly that I needed a horse to ride to try to help get out the vote—to get people inspired and get them believing in democracy, believing in each other and in themselves.”
In looking back on the making of the album, Di Franco recalls the daily texts she received from her friend and former tour manager Susan Alzner, who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. “She’s an activist who really feels the weight of the world on her chest. She goes for walks every evening to decompress,” says Di Franco. “The whole time I was making this record, she’d send me pictures of the sky from when she was out walking, and it always made me inhale more deeply.” So when it came time to choose artwork for Revolutionary Love, Di Franco landed on a series of photos from her friend’s nightly texts. “When people hear this record, I want them to get the same feeling I got from Susan’s sky pictures—that feeling of taking a minute to realize that the light is shining around us and through us,” she says. “Like, we can do this, we just have to stay open. We have to look up.”