Mackenzie Shivers Brings Her Version Of Dream Pop To “A Cautionary Tale”

[Cover photo credit to Sara Haile]

New York-based Folk-Pop artist Mackenzie Shivers has shared a new single and music video, “a cautionary tale,” the lead track from her forthcoming album primrose was in season which is due in Spring 2024.

For the new album, Shivers gives a glimpse into her healing process after losing her first pregnancy, capturing both resilience and vulnerability.

With the ethereal pop opener “a cautionary tale,” Shivers examines her identity after loss:

The creation of ‘a cautionary tale’ and the subsequent nine tracks that would make up my upcoming album was creative and buoyant, bringing joy to a very difficult time in my life. I was struggling to get pregnant and stay pregnant. I felt like the odds were against me, like I couldn’t gain control of my own life. But in the studio, I felt like I had some control over what I was making, and I was also having a blast.

For ‘a cautionary tale,’ we layered organic textures like pump organ and pots and pans with drum beats and samples to create something hi-fi yet handmade. Driving my foot into the organ petal felt like a meditation, and with each press I let go of a little bit of anger. I felt a little more like myself with each piano take. And what took shape was my own version of dream pop, a world in which I could both escape and process a lot of difficult feelings.

Mackenzie Shivers’ fourth full-length album primrose was in season was produced by frequent collaborator Kevin Salem (Rachel Yamagata, Emmylou Harris). The ten new compositions suggest that magic and grief can co-exist in life.

The title of the new album is a lyric from the song “Hush Now”, that hints at a deeper meaning. The primrose, signaling the end of winter, has “a reputation for healing wounds.”

Shivers adds:

This album has been an empowering way for me to move forward. And I hope it gives listeners a space to feel any and all things. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this process, it’s that nothing you feel is wrong. Feeling all emotions is the only way to move through them. Maybe even towards joy.