Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
LISTEN: Eleri Ward Releases New Acoustic Sondheim Folk Album 'Keep a Tender Distance'

LISTEN: Eleri Ward Releases New Acoustic Sondheim Folk Album 'Keep a Tender Distance'

A Perfect Little Death is currently available on vinyl, CD and all streaming platforms.

Keep A Tender Distance - the sublimely introspective folk guitar exploration of Stephen Sondheim's singular musical theater canon - from singer/songwriter Eleri Ward is available in digital and streaming formats today.

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. The new collection is produced by Allen Tate and Eleri Ward, and arranged by Eleri Ward, with string arrangements by Ellis Ludwig-Leone.

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 whose original pop music has been called "soaring" (Nexus Music Blog), "astonishing" (Rising Artists), and "dreamy" (Neon Music). 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.

Listen to the new album here:

Regional Awards

Related Stories

From This Author - Michael Major

Disney+ Shares PINOCCHIO Original Motion Picture SoundtrackDisney+ Shares PINOCCHIO Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
September 16, 2022

Featuring “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “I’ve Got No Strings” and “Hi Diddle Dee Dee” (“The Actor’s Life”)—the filmmakers included additional songs in their live action version. Oscar nominees Alan Silvestri, who composed the film’s background score and has teamed with Zemeckis on 19 films, and Glen Ballard collaborated on the new original songs.

Chymes Releases New Single 'See You In Hell'Chymes Releases New Single 'See You In Hell'
September 16, 2022

With an ever-growing fan base across the globe following a tweet from BTS star Jungkook, Chymes has been streamed over 30 million times across Apple and Spotify. Her previous releases 'Black Hole Friend' and 'Karma' have featured in numerous Spotify editorial playlists including “SALT” and “New Pop Revolution.”

VIDEO: Watch Cynthia Erivo Perform 'When You Wish Upon A Star' in PINOCCHIOVIDEO: Watch Cynthia Erivo Perform 'When You Wish Upon A Star' in PINOCCHIO
September 16, 2022

Disney+ has shared a clip of Cynthia Erivo performing 'When You Wish Upon a Star' in the new live action film adaption of Pinocchio. The new film also features Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keegan-Michael Key, and more. Watch the new video clip and listen to the complete track on the film's soundtrack now!

VIDEO: Taylor Swift Shares Behind-the-Scenes Look at 'Midnights' AlbumVIDEO: Taylor Swift Shares Behind-the-Scenes Look at 'Midnights' Album
September 16, 2022

Taylor Swift took to Instagram to share a behind the scenes look at the making of her upcoming eleventh studio album, 'Midnights.' The new Instagram Reel shows Swift at the piano, in the recording booth, picking out vinyl variants, and working with producer Jack Antonoff on the new album. Watch the new video now!

Reba McEntire Announces 'The Ultimate Christmas Collection'Reba McEntire Announces 'The Ultimate Christmas Collection'
September 16, 2022

Reba McEntire will release Reba: The Ultimate Christmas Collection. The collection is made up of favorites from her previous Christmas releases along with the stirring track “I Needed Christmas,” featured in the Lifetime movie “Reba McEntire’s Christmas In Tune.” Pre-order the collection and check out the track list now!