It’s been 12 years since Late December. If you only know her work from Lone Justice, it’s been 33 years since you’ve sat down with an album from Maria McKee. Come March 13, 2020, you can sit down once again and catch up.
La Vita Nuova (The New Life), releasing on Fire Records, comprises 14 songs and, apparently, a whole lotta change. The press release reveals an artist who is well aware that it might seem like she just disappeared for a long time, and leans into that narrative. “Maria McKee was recast; reborn.” Thankfully, the invitation has been extended to celebrate that rebirth with Maria. Lead single “Effigy of Salt” is…gorgeous. Listen. It’s gorgeous. The depth of melancholy complements the height of musicality, taking an alchemical hand to Desire-esque Americana, film score Neoclassical, and Doo-wop. The personal, relational nature of La Vita Nuova is on full display here; even as Maria McKee says ‘hello again’ to the listener, this is a song cycle of goodbyes. Goodbye to not being out as queer, to not pursuing studies as a practitioner of the occult, to not being herself, now. “You say goodbye/I say hello.”
Pre-orders are open via several venues. In addition to standard digital, CD, and black 2LP options, La Vita Nuova is available as a limited edition pressing to white vinyl.
1. Effigy Of Salt
2.Page Of Cups
3.Let Me Forget
4.I Should Have Looked Away
5.Right Down To The Heart Of London
6.La Vita Nuova
10.The Last Boy
11.I Never Asked
12.I Just Want To Know That You’re Alright