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Jesse Terry & Alex Wong | Kivalina

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Folk: Alternative Folk Rock: Americana Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Jesse Terry & Alex Wong

The creative alchemy between frequent collaborators Jesse Terry and Alex Wong results in some of their finest work yet – heartfelt, atmospheric songs that fit alongside those of folk-rock stalwarts Josh Ritter and Damien Jurado.
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Landfall
Jesse Terry & Alex Wong
3:50 $0.99
2. Nowhere
Jesse Terry & Alex Wong
3:38 $0.99
3. Dangerous Times
Jesse Terry & Alex Wong
3:56 $0.99
4. Thieves
Jesse Terry & Alex Wong
4:52 $0.99
5. Ten More Years
Jesse Terry & Alex Wong
3:24 $0.99
6. Fight or Flight
Jesse Terry & Alex Wong
4:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
On a sliver of frozen land along the Chukchi Sea sits the tiny Alaskan village of Kivalina. For generations, the native people of the region have hunted whales from camps atop the sea ice. In recent years, thinning ice has made it difficult to continue whale hunting – or indeed, to live here at all. Sea ice that once protected the island from winter storm surges no longer forms early enough in the fall to prevent rising waters from reaching the island’s shores. Experts predict Kivalina will be uninhabitable by 2025. As the ground beneath their homes erodes, the villagers face a heavy truth: they will be among the country’s first climate change refugees.

These are dangerous times for the people of Kivalina. Their story – part heartbreak and part resilience – is the genesis of a compelling new album from the songwriter-producer duo of Jesse Terry and Alex Wong.

Terry and Wong are longtime collaborators, each boasting an impressive discography of albums that stretch the fibers of the Americana genre. The creative alchemy between the New England and Nashville artists results in some of their finest work yet – heartfelt, atmospheric songs that fit alongside those of folk-rock stalwarts Josh Ritter and Damien Jurado. The acoustic-forward arrangements, built around two voices and two guitars, are uncluttered yet cinematic in sweep, sonic gems that conjure images of northern stars and unfamiliar city lights.

The project – prompted by a set of news articles on climate change refugees –foregrounds the narrative of villagers compelled to relocate inland, parting with ancestral lands and ways of life. These vignettes of home and departure are particularly powerful because they draw on themes that are both universal and intensely personal. Indeed, Wong explains that he felt compelled to examine the villagers’ stories because, growing up in California, he’d been warned of this very scenario even as a kid. “When Jesse and I first read about the people of Kivalina, we saw our own friends and families in their stories,” he relates. “It’s hard to imagine how I would cope with my homeland disappearing beneath my feet and what it would do to my relationships, my sense of history, and my thoughts of the future.”

The end of the Kivalina story is yet unwritten, but the songs – the competing tensions in “Fight or Flight,” reckoning with the inevitable in “Landfall,” the quiet defiance of “Nowhere” – are poignant and urgent, focusing our gaze on a turning point in human history. And while the narratives here convey a sense of fragility, the end result is a set of beautifully luminous songs that underscore the tension between a desire to protect the past and the necessity of moving forward.



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