Drag City, 2006)

songs by Will Oldham
production: Valgeir Sigurdsson
electric guitars: Emmett Kelly
drums: Jim White
bass: Paul Oldham
string arrangements: Nico Muhly & Ryan McNair
vocals: Dawn McCarthy


“The Letting Go’ is possibly the most adventurous and unexpected record Will has ever released. The most striking inclusion is that of Dawn McCarthy, who shares vocal duties with Oldham on almost every track – the harmonies she adds take Oldham’s songs into places that they have so far only hinted at. Her voice is comparable to Sandy Denny and gives a subtle but haunting 70s folk resonance to the grandiose arrangements. The real key here is the quality of songwriting, and coupled with Oldham’s most innovative and enjoyable arrangements yet, it really must be a very strong contender for album of the year.”

– Boomkat (UK)

“But there’s a revelation in this tender recording: the devastating prescence of Faun Fables’ Dawn McCarthy. Her voice trails and caresses Oldham’s every motion like strings, the wind, memories, echoes, lives lost and found. Her bearing on the essence of ‘The Letting Go’ is glorious, her defiant harmonies convey both bruising intimacy (Lay Here and Love You) and bruised desolation (Then the Letting Go). Crucially, they signify a shift in Oldham’s definitions of love: someone is singing these words back at him, as he reaches out- (not) letting go.”

– Nicola  Meighan, Play Louder

“Moody and introspective guitar ballads are often transformed through the delicate use of a string quartet, with  flugelhorn or electric piano  matched alongside the violins, viola and cello. And then there’s the final, perhaps most important, addition to his musical lineup, the delicate vocal work from Dawn McCarthy of Faun Fables, who either echoes his gently intense, introspective vocals in a higher octave, or adds her own atmospheric embellishments, as on the sparse title track, which
features just acoustic guitar and the two voices, and has the sturdy, gently chilling appeal of a great folk song.”

– Robin Denslow, The Guardian (UK)

“It was recorded in Iceland with producer Valgeir Sigurdsson, who gets more out of Oldham’s voice and songs than has ever been heard on record. Oldham’s harmony companion, Dawn McCarthy from Faun Fables, takes a much larger role than her predecessor on ‘Master and Everyone’ and her credit for harmony arrangements tell you everything you need to know about how important she is to the success of this album. Since the quality of Oldham’s songwriting has rarely wavered, the excellent arrangements and McCarthy’s contributions make ‘The Letting Go’ the best of his career to this point.”

– John Bush,

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Track Listing:

01. Loves Comes to Me
02. Strange Form of Life MP3 sample
03. Wai
04. Cursed Sleep MP3 sample
05. No Bad News
06. Cold & Wet
07. Big Friday
08. Lay and Love MP3 sample
09. The Seedling
10. Then the Letting Go
11. God’s Small Song
12. I Called You Back MP3 sample

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