Sarah Jarosz will release World On The Ground, the follow-up to her 2016 Grammy-winner Undercurrent, on Rounder on 5 June. It’s produced by the esteemed John Leventhal, much feted for his work with Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello and others.
The new set is introduced by the typically classy track ‘Johnny,’ available now to stream and download. The song’s lyric is a portrait of a returning traveller who is facing the realisation that “an open heart looks a lot like the wilderness.”
World On The Ground sees Jarosz exploring the tension and inertia of living in a small town. It’s informed by her own experience as a native of Wimberley, Texas, which has a population of 2,626. She now lives in New York City. The album is “populated by sensitive souls, aimless wanderers, and back-porch daydreamers.” It’s also described as having “the scope of a novel and a sound inspired by classic Texas songwriting.”
‘Pay It No Mind’
The title of the album is inspired by a lyric in one of its highlights, ‘Pay It No Mind,’ in which a bird looks down at the world. “When the world on the ground is gonna swallow you down, sometimes you’ve got to pay it no mind,” sings Jarosz. The “little bird stretching her wings” in the song is depicted in the album artwork, an Erin E. Murray painting that was a gift to Jarosz from her parents.
The album is the artist’s fifth studio release in a distinguished sequence that began with 2009’s Song In Her Head. Jarosz further enhanced her reputation with 2011’s Follow Me Down and 2013’s Build Me Up From Bones. Then Undercurrent won Grammys for Best Folk Album and Best American Roots Performance for its track ‘House of Mercy.’
Jarosz won a further Grammy with her other band project, I’m With Her, featuring fellow multi-instrumentalists Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan. Their ‘Call My Name’ won Best American Roots Song in 2019.
World On The Ground is released on 5 June. Pre-order it here.