Today, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz of Watchhouse – the critically acclaimed roots music duo who until recently were known as Mandolin Orange – announce their new self-titled album Watchhouse, out August 13 on Tiptoe Tiger Music / Thirty Tigers. With the change of name comes an artistic rebirth: While still firmly rooted in poetic Appalachian folk, there’s a sonic adventurousness informed by American primitivism and ambient soundscapes that gives Marlin and Frantz’s songs a new, unknowable allure. Watchhouse is audacious, spectral music that wrestles with and finds magic in the relationships we build with our families, our society, our planet, and ourselves.
Alongside the album announcement, Watchhouse also share the music video for “New Star,” a song about familial solidarity and self-sacrifice that is plain-spoken but vital. Directed by Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath, the video centers on the almost instinctual rituals of our lives that tie us to our various communities: children playing, friends sharing a cigarette, families gathering for dinner. After a year that forced many of us apart, it’s a reminder of the joys we are just beginning to return to and the strength we draw from each other.