Poet, singer/songwriter, activist Allison Russell is a lot more than a beautiful voice and a pretty face. The young singer uses her music and her voice to get perspective on her own experiences as an abused child and to help others who have suffered similarly process theirs. Her powerful debut album, Outside Child, was nominated for three Grammy Awards.
“The record itself isn’t really about abuse. It’s about the journey out of that, and breaking those cycles.”– Allison Russelll on Outside Child
Russell’s songs don’t shy away from any of her truths, including personal trauma, her mother’s mental illness, her experience with homelessness and hopelessness, and her experiences as a black woman in a world that often discounts her. She’s an amazingly talented storyteller, and I find it impossible to relate to her stories. Her lyrics are chillingly effective, and though terrible things happened to her, the music isn’t wallowing. It’s always rising above. I have such admiration for this woman.
I was the Queen of Westmount Park
It was all mine after dark
Old willow tree it was my throne
Till I till I went home
Father used me like a wife
Mother turned the blindest eye
Stole my body, spirit, pride
He did he did each night
One for the hate that loops and loops4th Day Prayer by Allison Russell
Two for the poison at the roots
Three for the children breaking through
Four for the day we’re standing in the sun