15 Aug MEMPHIS FLYER: Pushin’ Through
Memphis-bred singer-songwriter Valerie June is having a long-gestating, hard-earned moment. June’s debut album, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was released overseas in May but was introduced to U.S. audiences last week in a “First Listen” feature on the website for National Public Radio, with an accompanying rave from NPR and former Los Angeles Times and New York Times pop critic Ann Powers, who labeled the album an “instantly arresting debut” from an “elemental talent.”
Pushin’ Against a Stone, co-produced by Kevin Augunas and reigning Grammy Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach and recorded primarily at Auerbach’s Nashville Easy Eye Sound studio, features writing and performing contributions from Memphis legend Booker T. Jones. It finally got its U.S. release on August 13th on the Concord Records label. In addition to the big rollout from NPR, the album’s release was preceded by the inclusion of June’s current single, “You Can’t Be Told,” as a “Pick of the Week” at Starbucks. But this emergence comes more than a decade after June first began performing at Memphis coffee shops and more than two years after work began on an album that was funded by the then-unsigned June primarily via a 2010 Kickstarter campaign. Read more here.