ANTHONY D’AMATO GOES WEST FOR FIRST ALBUM IN SIX YEARS,
AT FIRST THERE WAS NOTHING, PRODUCED BY JOSHUA JAMES
(OUT 10/21 ON BLUE ROSE)
Brooklyn, NY: Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Anthony D’Amato is set to return this fall with At First There Was Nothing, his first new full-length album in six years, due out Oct 21st via Blue Rose. Watch the “charming” animated video for lush, pedal steel-laden first single “Ships In The Night” via The Boot, who raves that At First There Was Nothing “looks to be D’Amato’s most evolved and reflective project to date.”
Hailed by Rolling Stone for his “folk music raised on New Jersey grit,” D’Amato headed west to record At First There Was Nothing, relocating to American Fork, Utah, for sessions in the autumn and winter with celebrated songwriter and producer Joshua James. Bristling with joyful energy and piercing insight, the record emerged from a period of intense change and renewal, and the growth is palpable, with sprawling, unpredictable arrangements accompanying some of D’Amato’s most gripping and incisive lyrical work yet. Drawing on everything from hazy ’60s soul to rootsy ’70s rock and roll, the songs are loose and playful here, even as they grapple with faith and trust, mortality and loss, resilience and regret, all set against sweeping sonic backdrops every bit as epic and rugged as the landscapes that inspired them.
“Ships In The Night” is a song about longing and desire,” D’Amato reflects. “I imagined a narrator so filled with loneliness and regret that his nightly tears flood the streets until he just floats away, sailing off towards the horizon in search of something he never seems to find. Perhaps he’s a widower, perhaps he broke someone’s heart, perhaps he made some mistake he’s still trying to atone for. After writing so personally on my first two albums, it was a real joy to step outside of myself on this record and create whole fantastical worlds for characters like this to inhabit and explore.”
Born and raised in New Jersey, D’Amato first rose to international attention with the 2014 release of The Shipwreck From The Shore, his New West Records debut. Inspired in part by time spent studying with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, the album garnered rave reviews on both sides of the pond, with NPR inviting D’Amato for a Tiny Desk Concert and lauding that “he writes in the tradition of Bruce Springsteen or Josh Ritter,” and Uncut proclaiming that his songwriting “echoes with early Bob Dylan.” D’Amato followed it up in 2016 with the Mike Mogis-produced Cold Snap, which earned him his first national TV appearance along with an “Artist You Need To Know” nod from Rolling Stone, who hailed his writing as “folk music raised on New Jersey grit.” In 2017, D’Amato released a collaborative EP titled Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which raised more than $10,000 for refugee aid, and in 2019, he returned with Five Songs From New Orleans, a stripped-down acoustic collection that earned continued praise from Billboard to Rolling Stone. Along the way, D’Amato toured extensively across the US and Europe, sharing bills with the likes of Ben Folds, Valerie June, Keb’ Mo’, The Felice Brothers, American Aquarium, and many more.
D’Amato, who just performed on CBS Saturday Morning this weekend with “supergroup” side project Fantastic Cat, will be on tour in Europe in August and September supporting Keb’ Mo’ and will tape an episode of NPR’s Mountain Stage October 2. Stay tuned for more US dates to be announced soon.