Strawberry Mansion [Exclusive Red & Cream]
The folk-rock singer/songwriter’s seventh record is an oxymoron: a hopeful pandemic album
After accepting a friend’s challenge to fulfill a daily writing exercise, Slim finished more than 20 songs between March and May 2020, which eventually became the bones of Strawberry Mansion, the indie-folk veteran’s hopeful seventh studio album, per the press materials for the new release. Slim—beloved by Americana listeners for his frank, rugged folk songs—delivers perhaps his most serious work yet on Mansion. Yet he packages those heavy themes of mental health, addiction, loneliness and spirituality into a lively collection of music that feels especially suited to these strange times.
After hearing Mansion, it comes as no surprise that Slim is something of an Instagram prophet. Before Strawberry Mansion was an album, it was a string of unfinished songs filmed and released on Instagram throughout last year. Slim still hops on Instagram Live a few times a week to come face-to-face with listeners, and, in a way, the sessions feel like little private confessions. That spiritual edge carries over to the finished product on songs like “House On Fire,” which points out the indiscretions that exist in the now all-too-rampant social media practice of moral policing, without feeling too preachy. His spirituality is even more apparent on “Morning Prayer,” in which he outwardly prays for friends and family members and asks for strength.
Langhorne Slim Makes the Most of Isolation on Strawberry Mansion