Article Contributed by Open Ocean | Published on Monday, May 30, 2022

After spending a decade on the road with Spirit Family Reunion, banjo player and singer Maggie Carson is announcing her debut solo album, The Dark Was Aglow, and releasing the first single from the record. The album, recorded in Rockaway Beach before the pandemic hit NYC, is a collaboration between Carson, punk rock producer Matt Walsh, and conceptual artist Or Zubalsky. The first taste of the record can be heard on the new single, “Your Ghost”. The song blends Carson’s roots-inspired songwriting and performance style with the rock’n’roll and surf traditions of Rockaway Beach. “Your Ghost” is now available on all streaming platforms and will be featured on the full length vinyl record, set to be released on June 24th, 2022.

Maggie Carson developed her musical persona touring with Spirit Family Reunion, called a “rowdy reboot of old-timey folk music” by Rolling Stone. In 2019, Carson focused on developing her own voice: retaining the raw, vulnerable core of Appalachian music that makes singers like Ola Belle Reed so compelling, but backed by a minimalist rock band. Carson connected with producer Matt Walsh (The Forms, Wild Yaks, Sky Creature) who works out of his recording studio in Rockaway Beach. Carson’s performance was transformed in this environment, incorporating the sound and attitude of punk, surf, and early rock’n’roll. Reviewing Carson’s “Your Ghost”, Glide Magazine described this blend of genres as “a compelling burst of modern Appalachia that is both fresh and deeply ingrained in the American story.”

“This song emerged quickly and completely. Inspired by the structures and melodies of old-time music, the song is a musing. A question. A moment of contemplation. Lush, spacious and airy,” says Carson. This is the first opportunity to hear her new interpretation of American roots music, developed over many years touring with her band Spirit Family Reunion and sharing stages with Pete Seeger, Levon Helm, Sharon Jones, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dr. Dog, The Felice Brothers, Alabama Shakes, The Deslondes, and Trampled By Turtles. Carson will celebrate the release of the record at Brooklyn Americana Fest on June 26, 2022.

The Dark Was Aglow is being released on Rockaway Beach’s nonprofit label, Open Ocean, on digital and vinyl formats, packaged in a stunning hand screen printed jacket. Pre-order here.