In today’s louder-is-mightier world, it takes guts to be quiet. But when the right artist summons the courage, strips down, and finds the right songs, one voice and one guitar can make an all-consuming roar.
“I’ve just always been a sucker for acoustic records,” Sean McConnell says. “The bare bones, the stories, the chair squeaking, the fingers gliding across strings. Hearing the sound of the room it was recorded in. A lot of the music I grew up listening to was like that, and I’m drawn to it. It’s like home base.”
With his anticipated new album Undone, McConnell makes a triumphant return to home base. The 11-song acoustic collection captures the singer-songwriter’s two most arresting skills: room-shushing story songs and gut-punching vocals. The project is an inspired re-recording of last summer’s Sean McConnell, with the addition of a new duet, “Nothing on You,” written with and featuring the peerless Lori McKenna.
Last year’s eponymous album garnered serious praise from Rolling Stone, No Depression, Lone Star Music Magazine, and more, and when asked why it deserved an acoustic revisit, McConnell doesn’t hesitate. “The main reason is I’ve just always known I wanted to have an acoustic version of these songs ready for people to hear,” he says. “It’s the kind of collection that really calls for it. I could hear it in my head the whole time, that this record had a second life in a different soundscape.”