On Allison Russell’s 2021 debut solo album, Outside Child, she told her story. One of a survivor and a mother. It was a story that was important for her to tell and for us to hear. On September 8, she follows up the acclaimed Outside Child with The Returner, an album that looks past herself and to those around her. On the title track she sings, “Of all the goodness and the love that the world’s gonna give to me I’ma give it back ten times, people, are you ready?”
Here in Nashville, her now home, we’ve seen Russell practicing what she’s preaching. Just months ago she organized “Love Rising,” a LGBTQ benefit concert at Bridgestone Arena that raised raised over half a million dollars for the Tennessee Equality Project, Inclusion Tennessee, Tennessee Pride Chamber and other organizations. The Returner continues to explore Russell’s community as she gives back to it.
This playlist that Allison Russell compiled for WNXP is a peek into the music that she’s celebrating and channeling through her new album. Stream this collection of inspirational songs in conjunction with The Returner and hear the influence of Mulatu Astatke’s soothing Ethio-jazz, Sinead O’Connor’s uncompromising vocal power, and the bassline of an Esther Phillips song. This is the deconstruction of Allison Russell’s The Returner as put together by Allison Russell herself. Enjoy!