Following up her stunning 2019 EP You & I and a run of singles throughout the pandemic lockdown, producer and singer-songwriter Madison McFerrin is releasing her solo album I Hope You Can Forgive Me independently this spring.
McFerrin caught our ear during a World Cafe Live show in 2019 with Kingsley Ibeneche and Great Time; it was a sort of homecoming gig for her, since she spent her youth in the Philadelphia area before going to school in Boston and settling in Brooklyn. In early 2020, McFerrin performed a breathtaking Key Studio Session that we described at the time as existing “in the space between Juliana Barwick and Solange.”
News of the new album comes with a new single, “(Please Don’t) Leave Me Now,” and a dreamlike music video to accompany it. The song rides a rippling groove with McFerrin’s voice at once feeling gently low-key and about to take flight, as she lyrically ruminates on endings of all sorts. In a press release, McFerrin had an extensive description of the song and video:
“Being able to walk away from a near-death experience without physical harm is one of the greatest blessings I’ve received in this life. It reaffirmed my purpose as an artist. Writing ‘(Please Don’t) Leave Me Now’ became an incredibly therapeutic and cathartic experience. Being able to express that kind of fear while still creating a fun environment was key to making this song.
Death showed up in more ways than one in the process of making this video. In the weeks leading up to the shoot, multiple family members on the production side passed unexpectedly, bringing our plans to a halt. The fate of the video was in flux. Thanks to the tenacity of my team, we were able to regroup and move forward, albeit with a delay.
For the video, we wanted to capture the feeling of not being prepared to die. I’m talking to myself both above and within the grave, grieving both who I was and who I could be. I didn’t expect being in a grave for multiple hours in a day would affect me, but it definitely contributed to my journey in processing a near-death experience. This song and video are a manifestation of my own personal growth as not only a musician, but as a human.”
I Hope You Can ForgiveMe is out May 5th, and can be pre-ordered here. McFerrin is going on a U.S. tour this spring, including a California date supporting South African vocal legends Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and appearances at South By Southwest. No Philly show at the moment, but McFerrin will play Elsewhere in Brooklyn on June 29th. Check out her full schedule below and get details on the tour at McFerrin’s website. For more, revisit our 2019 interview with Madison McFerrin.