Esperanza Spalding released 12 Little Spells, her seventh studio album, via Concord Records in October. She appears at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 1 for the accompanying 12 Little Spells Tour.
On her website, Esperanza describes the concept for her latest album:
“I wanted to release one more song-ey album/tour project to tide us over before I disappear into the belly of developing the next full thing…
“Then, all the sudden, this 12 Little Spells idea just started taking shape in my imagination all quick-like… and made various parts of my body tingle: hands, legs, solar-plexus, ears, feet, arms…
“(no I don’t use drugs)…
“This tingling had a kind of healing sensation, and I wondered:
“Can I harness these 12 little sensation-revelations into sounds, words, imagery, and performance that activates this healing, tingling effect in others? I’m gonna go ahead and assume: yes…”
Esperanza dedicated each of the 12 songs on the new record to a part of the body. Watch the official music video for “You Have to Dance,” dedicated to feet, by Esperanza Spalding on YouTube:
In a review for Rolling Stone, Hank Shteamer compared Esperanza to other iconic artists:
“Excellent prior efforts like 2017’s Exposure and 2016’s character-driven Emily’s D+Evolution combined sturdy hooks and bold idiosyncrasy in a way that seemed comparable only to fellow genre-of-one artists like Joni Mitchell, Björk, or Spalding’s friend and collaborator Prince. Her new LP favors a slightly dreamier aesthetic (see the gorgeous, overture-like opener ’12 Little Spells,’ dedicated to the thoracic spine). But there’s still music here that will make your head spin with its exquisite intergenre oddity, like the prog-meets-pop-meets-spoken-word mini opus ‘The Longing Deep Down.’”
Esperanza performs at the Lincoln Theater as part of the Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival, a celebration of creativity and innovation at the Smithsonian and around Washington. Events feature Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award winners, presenters, and today’s innovators in technology and the arts and sciences.
Saturday, Dec. 1
Doors @ 6:30pm