12 August, 2022Print
Watchhouse’s Intimate Alchemy Infuses Surprise Duo Version Of 2021 Self-Titled AlbumWatchhouse (Duo) Out Today Via Tiptoe Tiger Music / Thirty Tigers, Listen Here
A Return To Andrew Marlin & Emily Frantz’s Stripped-Down Magnetism
New Album Comes Ahead Of Two Headlining Shows At Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium — Full Band On September 2, A Special Duo Show On September 3
Also Curating Colorado Series Mabon With Planet Bluegrass: Will Play Two Sets & Back Up Emmylou Harris; See Full Tour Dates Below
Today, almost one year to the day that Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz of Watchhouse (formerly known as Mandolin Orange) formally reintroduced themselves on their 2021 album Watchhouse, the ascendant roots music stars share a special surprise release: Watchhouse (Duo), a self-produced recording of Marlin and Frantz performing the most elemental possible arrangements of all nine songs from Watchhouse. It’s a project that captures the fundamental power of Watchhouse: Two singers and musicians with profound chemistry, performing earnest yet masterfully crafted songs that encompass the unknowable mysteries, existential heartbreak, and communal joys of modern life.
Starting over a decade ago playing coffee shops and local restaurants around North Carolina, Watchhouse are a bonafide folk music sensation and one of 21st century indie music’s biggest grassroots success stories. They sell out iconic venues (Red Rocks, Ryman Auditorium) and attract hundreds of millions of streams while producing exploratory music that "redefines roots music for a younger generation" (Washington Post).
They are currently on the road for the American Acoustic Tour with The Punch Brothers and Sarah Jarosz, as well as some US headline dates including Boston, Chicago, and two special shows at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium: A full band show on September 2 and a special duo show, in honor of Watchhouse (Duo), on September 3. They'll also be showing the duality of this project at Mabon, a concert series the group has coordinated with Planet Bluegrass for September 16 through 18. Here they'll play a duo set, full band set, and will back up Emmylou Harris. The event will also feature sets from some of their favorite artists including Regina Spektor, Waxahatchee, Yasmin Williams, and more. There will also be a special, hometown duo performance at the NC Museum of Art, and an appearance at New Mexico’s Ladder To The Moon Festival alongside Patti Smith, The Head & The Heart, Indigo Girls, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Wet Leg, and so many more.
Following all of that activity, Watchhouse will embark on a debut Australian tour and their first European headlining dates since COVID. See full tour dates below.
Released in August 2021 and co-produced alongside Josh Kaufman (The National, Bonny Light Horseman), Watchhouse found the band embarking into bold new sonic territory, weaving their Appalachian-steeped folk with ambient drone, gauzy soul horns, and experimental texture. All the while, Andrew Marlin’s earnest songs explore the whirlwind of new parenthood, digital isolation, and impending climate catastrophe with a poetic simplicity. It was a highly praised new era for the band, with kind reviews coming in from Rolling Stone, MOJO, American Songwriter, No Depression, and more — see plaudits below.
Belly Of The Beast
Lonely Love Affair
Coming Down From Green Mountain
Recorded in June 2022 at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC
Produced and performed live by Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz
Engineered and mixed by Julian Dreyer
Assistant engineer: Dowell Gandy
Mastered by Alan Silverman at Aerial Sound
Past Praise for Watchhouse
“Pristine acoustic picking collides with hazy, dream-like psychedelia”
– Rolling Stone
“Redefines roots music for a younger generation."
– Washington Post
“Celebrates the highs of new parenthood in all its dazed, anxious treatment"
– MOJO (4 Stars)
“May be their best work to date.”
– American Songwriter
“Beautiful arrangements. Laudable instrumental and vocal performances. Heartfelt lyrics.”
– No Depression
“the essence of the duo of Marlin and Franz still floats and soars – breaking through like those splinters of sunlight even more brightly.”
– GLIDE Mag
“As with Frantz and Marlin’s other harmonies, the songs on Watchhouse evoke the intimacy of working through a problem. But there’s also something fresh: a persistent, textured shimmering and droning with inflections of pop”
– INDY Week
“Watchhouse offers a lush soundscape, a carefully tended garden of sound in which colorful tendrils of sound wrap around us softly, swaying us with gentle rhythms of solace, hope, and love.”
– Folk Alley
Their music is deeply personal and raw, a result of persistent soul-searching… In many ways, the album is a discovery of the band’s new identity. The music is incredibly different, including elements of psychedelia and droning that are unique in bluegrass music.
– Raleigh News and Observer
Watchhouse Tour Schedule
8/13 — Beech Mountain, NC @ Beech Mountain Ski Resort ^
8/16 — Boston, MA @ Royale
8/17 — Northampton, MA @ The Pines Theater at Look Park !
8/18 — New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall !
8/19 — Philadelphia, PA @ Philadelphia Folk Festival !
8/20 — Manchester, VT @ Green Mountain Bluegrass & Roots Festival !
9/1 — Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
9/2 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium (Full Band Show)
9/3 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium (Special Duo Show)
9/4 — Indianapolis, IN @ All IN Music & Arts Festival
9/5 — Maquoketa, IA @ Codfish Hollow Barnstormers
9/7 — Madisow, WI @ Capitol Theater
9/8 — Saint Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
9/10 — Abiquiu, NM @ Ladder To The Moon (Ghost Ranch)
9/16-18 — Lyons, CO @ Mabon @ Planet Bluegrass (Curated by Watchhouse)
10/1 — Raleigh, NC @ North Carolina Museum Of Art $
10/5 — Sydney, AU @ The Factory Theatre
10/7 — Brisbane, AU @ Princess Theatre
10/8 — Williamstown, AU @ Out On The Weekend
10/9 — Castlemaine, AU @ Theatre Royal
10/11 — Melbourne, AU @ Melbourne Recital Centre
11/5 — Groningen, NE @ Take Root Festival
11/6 — Nijmegen, NE @ Doornroosje
11/8 — Amsterdam, NE @ Paradiso
11/9 — Antwerp, BE @ De Roma
11/10 — Cologne, DE @ Stadgarten
11/11 — Hamburg, DE @ Knust
11/13 — Copenhagen, DK @ Lille Vega
11/14 — Stockholm, SE @ Fallan
11/15 — Oslo, NO @ Rockefeller Music Hall
11/17 — Berlin, DE @ Heimathafen Neukölln
11/19 — Munich, DE @ Freiheiz
11/20 — Zurich, CH @ Bogen F
11/21 — Paris, FR @ Café de la Danse
11/23 — London, UK @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
^ = with The SteelDrivers
! = American Acoustic Tour with The Punch Brothers and Sarah Jarosz
$ = with Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves