Dancing with the Beast, the new album from Gretchen Peters, puts female characters at the fore, from teenage girls to old women. And intentionally so. With the 2017 Women’s March and the #MeToo Movement as bookends to her writing time, Peters knew that a feminist perspective would be the critical core of the record.
She admits, “You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to ‘Independence Day’ and probably before. The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and center.” Though Peters doesn’t consider herself a political writer, she is politically minded and, therefore, knew she had to address the 2016 election and all that has happened since… but in her own way.
There’s a bittersweet beauty to the passing of time — the changes it brings are just as often heartbreaking as they are heartwarming. The inevitable tension that arises from that sway is Gretchen Peters’ most trusted muse. With melody supporting that melancholy, the songs on the new album combine to lift the effort over the high artistic bar set by her last outing, 2015’s award-winning Blackbirds.
Whether a single sentence or a simple setting, once planted, even the tiniest seed can grow into a vision unto itself. Strung together and populated with strong and broken female heroines, those vignettes make up Dancing with the Beast and, indeed, Peters’ entire discography.
Beauty tempered by dread, sorrow buoyed by hope, these are the ever-present tugs of war that make life worth living and songs worth writing. And they are the over-riding themes that make Gretchen Peters one of her generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters.
Tracks: Arguing With Ghosts / Wichita / The Boy From Rye / Disappearing Act / Lowlands / The Show / Dancing With The Beast / Truckstop Angel / Say Grace / Lay Low / Love That Makes A Cup Of Tea
Saturday, 19th May 2018 / Stamford, Corn Exchange
Sunday, 20th May 2018 / Milton Keynes, The Stables
Tuesday, 22nd May 2018 / Edinburgh, Queens Hall
Wednesday, 23rd May 2018 / Gateshead, The Sage Gateshead
Friday, 25th May 2018 / Birmingham, Birmingham Town Hall
Saturday, 26th May 2018 / Southport, The Atkinson
Sunday, 27th May 2018 / Manchester, Royal Northern College of Music
Wednesday, 30th May 2018 / Leeds, City Varieties
Thursday, 31st May 2018 / Bury St Edmunds, The Apex
Saturday, 2nd June 2018 / Bristol, St Georges
Sunday, 3rd June 2018 / Worthing, The Pavilion Theatre
Thursday, 7th June 2018 / Shetland, Mareel
Saturday, 9th June 2018 / Nottingham, Gate to Southwell Festival
Tuesday, 12th June 2018 / Cardiff, Level 3 – St David’s Hall
Wednesday, 13th June 2018 / London, Cadogan Hall
Friday, 15th June 2018 / Beverley, Beverley Folk Festival Main Stage
Friday, 24th August 2018 / Wadebridge, Cornwall Folk Festival
Sunday, 26th August 2018 / Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Folk Festival