Valerie June released her debut album, ‘Pushin’ Against A Stone,’ August 2013 in the US via Concord Music Group. The album–which brings together the talents of acclaimed producers Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe, Florence + The Machine), Dan Auerbach, and Peter Sabak, along with an all-star cast of musicians ranging from Booker T. and Jimbo Mathus to some of Hungary’s top session players–was recorded at Easy Eye in Nashville, Fairfax Recording in Van Nuys, CA, and Studio H in Budapest. June, whose voice percolates somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday, wrote or co-wrote all but one of the record’s 11 tracks, blending rural roots, country, rock, and blues into an astonishing and singular sound that bridges Alan Lomax and Jack White. See below for full track listing.
June grew up in the small town of Humboldt, TN, before moving to Memphis, and she pays tribute to her home with charismatic Southern charm on “Tennessee Time.” She spent years honing a distinctive sound that effortlessly shifts between eras and genres: from the indie-blues slide guitar shuffle of “Can’t Be Told” and the heavenly harmonies of traditional spiritual “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations,” to the stark, acoustic “Workin’ Woman Blues” and the uncanny darkness of “Twined and Twisted.” June can be haunting and melancholy, singing of loneliness on “Somebody To Love,” or fiery and defiant, taking a life to save her own on “You Can’t Be Told.” At one moment seductive in a sensual come-on, fragile and vulnerable the next in a display of naked honesty, June’s voice transports you to another world the moment she opens her mouth.
Valerie counts Booker T. and Eric Church among her fans. The former performs on two tracks on the album, the mesmerizing “Somebody To Love” and “On My Way,” which he also co-wrote, and June recently performed a stunning duet of “Like Jesus Does” with Church at the 2013 ACM Awards.
The album’s US release follows June’s breakout year in the UK, where she has performed on Jools Holland, toured with Jake Bugg, and earned critical raves, with the London Evening Standard calling her “a major star in waiting” and The Sunday Times hailing her as “this year’s big new voice.”