Tennessee’s own Valerie June is back with her first release in three years that is well worth the wait.
Stay / Stay Meditation / You And I is uniquely June’s—a magical, country-soul offering loaded with varied percussion, ethereal strings, chimes and woodwinds meshing doo-wop, R&B, and her signature exploration of upbeat African rhythms that soothes the ears. A three-part immersion into life lessons we all need to be reminded of, June questions if beauty can be found in the impermanence of each moment.
“With our numbered days here, Stay is a song that encourages us to live fully without regrets,” the Brooklyn-based artist explains in a statement. “At the close, a short, reflective meditation allows us to steal just a few seconds of stillness before returning to the busy world. You and I celebrates the transformative power of love in all forms—from friendships to strangers to love for oneself. How does a recognition of the many forms of love enrich and daily help us to reshape the world we share?”
June is yet another iteration of Black women’s ability to be versatile and vulnerable in a time that feels like so much is stacked against us. Her textured vocals stand out with this release, reminding us to take time to center in order to keep thriving amidst chaos and to lean on our community when we need them the most. Produced with Jack Splash (who’s also worked with Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, and John Legend), Stay / Stay Meditation / You And I will leave you floating for a brief seven minutes that simultaneously feels timeless.
This project joins her previous works, Pushin’ Against A Stone and The Order of Time, affirming her place and vital voice in the roots music space, which earned her a deserve co-sign from Bob Dylan.
Dive in to Stay / Stay Meditation / You And I below.