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Exclusive: Hear 'I Remember' From Eleri Ward's New Sondheim Album KEEP A TENDER DISTANCE

Exclusive: Hear 'I Remember' From Eleri Ward's New Sondheim Album KEEP A TENDER DISTANCE

The new record includes songs from Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along, Passion, A Little Night Music, Company and more.

Ghostlight Records has announced the release of the new album Keep A Tender Distance - the sublimely introspective folk guitar exploration of Stephen Sondheim's singular musical theater canon - from singer/songwriter Eleri Ward in digital and streaming formats on Friday, September 16.

A CD release is planned for later this year. Keep A Tender Distance is the follow-up to A Perfect Little Death, Ward's viral hit debut take on the Sondheim catalog.

Hear the exclusive new track here!

The new collection is produced by Allen Tate and Eleri Ward, and arranged by Eleri Ward, with string arrangements by Ellis Ludwig-Leone. Pre-order or pre-save the album at eleriward.lnk.to/KeepaTenderDistance.

Eleri is coming off a triumphant national tour this summer opening for global superstar Josh Groban, alongside the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. She will launch right into an Off-Broadway production of Only Gold at New York's MCC Theater - created by Kate Nash, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Ted Malawer - which starts previews on October 5.

Keep A Tender Distance builds on its predecessor, yet for the new volume Eleri has profoundly expanded, deepened and matured her emotional takes on these theater standards. She brings her trademark swirling harmonies and lush phrasing to another 14 Sondheim compositions. Several selections can currently be heard on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Into the Woods ("Stay with Me," "Agony," "I Know Things Now," "No One Is Alone"), in addition to the recent remounting of Company ("Another Hundred People," "Marry Me a Little"), and the upcoming high-profile return of Merrily We Roll Along ("Not a Day Goes By," the title song). Along the way, she also brings her hypnotic interpretive sense to numbers from A Little Night Music ("The Miller's Son"), Assassins ("Unworthy of Your Love"), and Sunday in the Park with George ("Move On").

After gaining a viral TikTok following, Eleri first released A Perfect Little Death on Ghostlight last year to great acclaim, and several sold-out shows at New York's Joe's Pub. The album was called "a harmonious marriage of musical theater and indie folk music, with hauntingly beautiful arrangements" by Forbes and "an incandescent new record, something genuinely new" from American Theatre Magazine. John Platt of WFUV Radio hailed the album as a "breathtaking, life-affirming gift." A Perfect Little Death is currently available on vinyl, CD and all streaming platforms.

"Making this second album has been entirely different than the first in many ways," Eleri explains, "first of which is: collaboration. A Perfect Little Death was recorded completely on my own, I arranged each song alone, and while it was mixed and mastered by my talented friend, Tom Deis, I had very clear ideas for how I wanted everything to be. With this new record, I created the arrangements myself, but went into each studio session with an open mind of what each song could ultimately be. My producer, Allen Tate, was an amazing sounding board for new ideas when I didn't have clarity off the bat for the song we were doing in the moment. On that note, working with Ellis Ludwig-Leone on string arrangements brought me so much joy, taking the six songs he worked on to a place my brain could never have imagined on my own. I went into recording this album with a lot of open space, not wanting to confine myself into any set arrangement, and that allowed for these collaborations to really bring everything to the next level."

"I pushed myself when it came to guitar and tried to take my chord choices to new places," Eleri continues. "Obviously there are string arrangements on six of the tracks which is a whole new world for me, and I also have a mix of electric guitar, keyboard, and banjo added to this album. I believe the heartspace of how I connect to this music remained the spine of how I created each of these arrangements, but how they came out and landed are far more versatile."

"In order to choose the songs for this second collection," she concludes, "I go for the compositions I love, feel connected with, and hear the arrangements for in my head. Inspiration never leads me astray, so that's what I follow. These were the songs that spoke with the most clarity and passion."

Eleri Ward is a New York City-based actor, singer, and musician. Her most recent EP, Friction, was released in 2021. She has been singing and acting since she was eight years old, and has always strived to carve out her own space with the uniqueness she brings to the theater. Eleri studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music before transferring and graduating from The Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Musical Theater and an emphasis in Songwriting, which shows itself clearly in the way she has taken on the Sondheim canon. www.eleriward.com

Eleri Ward "KEEP A TENDER DISTANCE" TRACK LIST

1. Merrily We Roll Along

2. Stay with Me

3. Unworthy of Your Love

4. Johanna

5. Agony

6. I Remember

7. Another Hundred People

8. The Miller's Son

9. I Know Things Now

10. Not a Day Goes By

11. Not While I'm Around

12. No One Is Alone

13. Marry Me a Little

14. Move On

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