Women in Music: May Erlewine – Whole Again


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In the “Me Too” era it’s become all too easy to feel overwhelmed or numb, to want to look away or not listen.

Through gorgeous songwriting and arresting visuals, “Whole Again” — the first single and accompanying music video off Michigan musician May Erlewine’s forthcoming studio album, Second Sight — challenges us not only to keep looking and keep listening, but to consider what’s really being asked of women.

Whole Again – May Erlewine

“This song is about the pain of women’s history,” Erlewine said. “ It’s about the fact that we have continued to repair and make whole what has been broken so many times, all while continuing to suffer abuses and silencing, without truly equal rights in our own country.”

The song and video are lush with symbols of feminism, patriotism, grief and tenderness. In the video’s core scenes, we see women of all ages and races adding stitches to a massive American flag, holding the heavy fabric and slowly, deliberately pulling the thread — a labor of love, perhaps, or duty, or necessity.

The song is representative of many themes from Second Sight, which was written in the wake of the 2016 election. On the album, which is scheduled for full release on November 1 st, 2019, Erlewine continues her lifelong work of activism through art. Lyrically, many tracks are a reckoning, tackling injustice and discrimination head-on, and offering fuel for fellow Americans troubled with the current direction of the nation.

“This collection of songs is meant to draw us into what it means to call this place home,” Erlewine says. “ How do we acknowledge the wounds of history? How can we create new traditions? When will ‘everyone’ really mean every one of us?”

“Whole Again” was first written by Erlewine as a poem while watching the widely televised testimony of Christine Blasey Ford during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Erlewine brought the poem to Tyler Duncan and together they crafted the moving piece. The music video was produced by John Hanson and May Erlewine and filmed by Joshua Skinner. Click here to watch the video.

Erlewine is currently on tour in support of Second Sight, bringing her emotionally engaging live show, rooted in hard-wrought wisdom, joy and sorrow, to 11 cities across Michigan and the East Coast, kicking off on Thursday, October 3 rd at 20 Front Street in Lake Orion, MI. Erlewine, with her band featuring Phil Barry, Eric Kuhn, Joe Hettinga, Max Lockwood Faith Quashie, Julia Moffa, and Michael Shimmin, continue across the state before heading east for a run of shows in Massachusetts in November, wrapping at The Parlor Room in Northampton, MA on November 10 th, 2019. All announced dates are below, with tickets available at http://mayerlewine.com.

Advanced copies of Second Sight will be available at all upcoming Michigan shows this October. Stay tuned for more information about May Erlewine and her upcoming album release Second Sight, to be announced soon.

May Erlewine on Tour:

10/03 20 Front Street, Lake Orion, MI
10/04 The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI
10/05 Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo, MI
10/06 the Wealthy Theater, Grand Rapids, MI
10/10 the Old Art Building, Leland, MI
10/11 10# Fiddle Concerts at CMS, East Lansing, MI
10/12 the Livery, Benton Harbor, MI
10/13 Seven Steps Up, Spring Lake, MI
11/07 Ergemont Barn, Ergemont, MA
11/08 Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
11/10 The Parlor Room, Northampton, MA

Additional tour dates to be announced soon.