"I've never been nervous about releasing a record before, but this one is different. The rise of global fascism alongside the spreading fire of #MeToo has forged a louder megaphone for all women, and we're all seeing that radical truth is infectious. I feel more urgency than ever to share the naked truth of my experiences. The kind of stories that I'm sharing on this record - abortion, miscarriage, cancer, grief, the darker sides of parenthood - have been therapeutic and frightening to write. But every time I play them for my friends and fans, the nodding heads of empathy have lit a fire under my ass to record and release them."
- Amanda Palmer, 2018
Amanda Palmer has announced the eagerly-awaited release of her first solo album in more than six years. THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION is now available for presale in multiple formats on AMANDAPALMER.NET and will be released on March 8, 2019. Alongside the album, Palmer is independently releasing an artbook of narrative photography to accompany the album's release. The hardback version is exclusively presold to Amanda's Patrons. For more information on Amanda's Patreon and the book visit: AMANDAPALMER.NET
Palmer's third solo LP, THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION is the multi-faceted artist's most powerful and personal collection to date, with songs that tackle the big questions: life, death, grief and how we make sense with it all. While the themes may be dark, the album's overall sonic and lyrical mood is one of triumph in the face of life's most ineffably shitty circumstances.
"Most of these songs were exercises in survival," says Palmer. "This isn't really the record that I was planning to make. But loss and death kept happening in real-time, and these songs became my therapeutic arsenal of tools for making sense of it all."
Recorded over a single month in Los Angeles by GRAMMY® Award-winner John Congleton (who previously engineered and produced 2012's acclaimed THEATRE IS EVIL), THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION was entirely crowd-funded, this time by 12,000 patrons using Palmer's community hub at patreon.com.
Palmer's often-overlooked skills as a pianist mark the LP with a stark but grand sonic approach utterly distinct from her two prior solo albums. Indeed, the album's 10 songs feature only a few extra overdubs provided by key associates, including Congleton, Montreal-based programmer/keyboardist Max Henry and veteran drummer Joey Waronker. Longtime collaborator Jherek Bischoff also added touches of prepared piano and upright bass; he also arranged 10 short orchestral instrumentals based on the motifs of the songs, creating an intermission of sorts between each track.
Beginning with the epic Bill-Hicks-inspired "The Ride", THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION sees Palmer revealing her heart in total, turning the coals of fraught experience into musical diamonds. Palmer wrote "The Ride" with the help of her patrons, puzzle-piecing their personal comments about fear and grief into a sonic emotional snapshot of her community. Themes of death and reproduction recur throughout, including "A Mother's Confession," a funny, honest, slice-of-life ramble detailing Palmer's failings as a new mother, and "Machete", written in tribute to her best friend, Anthony (for whom her son was named), following his untimely passing from cancer. "Voicemail for Jill" chronicles a different sort of death as Palmer reaches out to a friend on her way to an abortion clinic.
"I've been trying to write a good abortion song for twenty-five years," she says. "It's been the white whale of my songwriting. Having had three abortions for very different reasons, and after connecting with hundreds of women who've gone through the same isolating and lonely experience, I just wanted to do the topic poetic justice. How do you write a song about abortion without being too heavy-handed or too preachy? It was only after being in Dublin for the abortion referendum that I came home and glued myself to the piano bench and said: 'Amanda, write it. You're a good enough songwriter now, you'll find a way.' Playing it live has felt like a hymn to every man and woman in the audience who's never been able to talk openly about their own abortion experiences."
The album's first single "Drowning in the Sound" - also written using crowd-sourced comments from Palmer's blog - explores hidden connections between political unrest, the impending uncertainty of Hurricane Harvey (many of her fans had evacuated their homes the day before the song was written), climate change, the solar eclipse, internet-hate and, bizarrely, Taylor Swift. One of the more lavishly produced songs on the album, the song combines Palmer's singular style of piano-taming with a restrained chorus that pays sonic homage to two diverse but connected mentors: Prince and Ani DiFranco.
Somber yet exultant, THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION presents still more dimensions to Amanda Palmer's already voluminous talent, once again confirming her as a master songwriter at the height of considerable power. This one-of-a-kind artist has miraculously molded humor, tears, confession, and naked personal pain into a matchless piece of work that could very well have been morose and gloomy but is, instead, deeply relatable, healing and inspiring.
In addition to the LP, Palmer has partnered with the collaborative art-team Kahn & Selesnick to create a companion volume of over 50 theatrical photographic portraits taken in and around Palmer's new upstate New York home she shares with her husband, writer Neil Gaiman. The portfolio - also titled THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION - will be available exclusively in hardback to Palmer's patrons as well as in a softcover edition at her hugely anticipated world tour, set to circle theaters around the globe in 2019-2020.
To support THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION, Palmer will hit the road for a seated theater tour beginning in North America in early 2019 and continuing globally into 2020. The shows will feature Palmer performing solo on grand piano, making it her first official tour ever with no back up musicians. Unironically, there will be an intermission at every show.