Natalie Merchant Debuts New Single 'Tower of Babel'

The track was released alongside a new music video.

By: Mar. 30, 2023
Natalie Merchant Debuts New Single 'Tower of Babel'

Natalie Merchant's new single "Tower of Babel" is out now alongside a new video.

"As much as I had wanted to not let events in the world intrude," Merchant says of the song, "I couldn't disregard the prevailing atmosphere of fear and confusion that we have been living in as a result of the pandemic, climate crisis, economic instability, insane politics, violent insurrection and the shocking fallout from the conservative-stacked reactionary Supreme Court."

The soul-inflected track features horn arrangements by trombone player Steve Davis, and follows the first single and video, "Come On, Aphrodite"-featuring Abena Koomson-Davis-from Merchant's forthcoming album Keep Your Courage, set for release April 14 on Nonesuch Records. Of the album Merchant notes: "For the most part, this is an album about the human heart." Pre-save/pre-order the forthcoming album here.

Produced by Merchant, Keep Your Courage is the artist's ninth solo studio album, and the latest new material since 2014's self-titled record. In the words of Uncut, "'Keep Your Courage,' almost a decade in the making, finds Merchant as witty and welcoming as always, turning her gaze to what helps us endure life's ups and downs."

The eclectic album features contributions from Celtic folk group Lúnasa, Syrian virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and jazz trombonist Steve Davis. There are lush orchestrations by seven composers throughout, including: Gabriel Kahane, Stephen Barber, Colin Jacobsen and Megan Gould.

The new record is comprised of nine original songs by Merchant as well as an interpretation of "Hunting the Wren" by Ian Lynch of the Irish band Lankum. The vinyl LP edition includes four bonus tracks from earlier albums, previously unreleased on vinyl.

Natalie Merchant and Nonesuch Store pre-orders include access to an exclusive virtual pre-release listening event on April 6 via FlyMachine, featuring songs from the new album and a conversation between Natalie Merchant and radio host Carmel Holt. Further details will be sent prior to the event. A link and unique access code will be sent by April 5. Re-stream access will be available for 72 hours.

In celebration of the new music Merchant will embark upon an extensive tour this spring, going into the fall; see below for full tour routing.

Over her forty-year career, Natalie Merchant has attained a place among America's most respected recording artists. She has earned a reputation for being a songwriter of quality and a captivating stage performer and has distinguished herself as a social justice and environmental activist.

Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released six albums-including one platinum, two double-platinum, and one triple-platinum records-with the group: The Wishing Chair (1985), In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man's Zoo (1989), Hope Chest (1990), Our Time in Eden (1992), and 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged (1993).

Merchant left the band in 1994 and has subsequently released nine albums as a solo artist with combined sales of seven million copies: Tigerlily (1995), Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), Motherland (2001), The House Carpenter's Daughter (2003), Leave Your Sleep (2010), Natalie Merchant (2014), Paradise Is There (2015), and Butterfly (2017).

Merchant has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Billy Bragg, Gavin Bryars, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Cowboy Junkies, Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mavis Staples, R.E.M. and Wilco. She served on the New York State Council on the Arts from 2007-2011 at the appointment of Governor Elliot Spitzer and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Library of Congress' American Folklife Center by New York State Senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Merchant's awards include: The Library Lion Award from the New York Public Library (2011), The American Society of Authors Composers & Publishers (ASCAP) Champion Award (2019) and The John Lennon Real Love Award (2019). More information about Merchant's career and philanthropic work may be found here.

Watch the new music video here:


April 14-Poughkeepsie, NY-Bardavon, 1869 Opera House‡
April 15-Poughkeepsie, NY-Bardavon, 1869 Opera House‡
April 18-Pittsburgh, PA-Byham Theater
April 19-Charlottesville, VA-The Paramount Theater‡
April 21-Philadelphia, PA-Kimmel Cultural Campus
April 22-Hershey, PA-The Hershey Theatre
April 24-Greenville, SC-Peace Center Concert Hall
April 26-Clearwater, FL-Ruth Eckerd Hall
April 27-Fort Lauderdale, FL-with The South Florida Symphony Orchestra
Au-Rene Theater - Broward Center for the Performing Arts†
April 28-St. Augustine, FL-The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
April 30-Atlanta, GA-with The Atlanta Symphony at Atlanta Symphony Hall†‡
May 9-Portland, ME-Merrill Auditorium
May 10-Boston, MA-Emerson Colonial Theatre‡
May 11-Boston, MA-Emerson Colonial Theatre
May 13-Cleveland, OH-Keybank State Theatre
May 14-Cincinnati, OH-Taft Theatre
May 16-Carmel, IN-The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts
May 17-Ann Arbor, MI-Michigan Theater
May 19-Chicago, IL-Chicago Theatre
May 20-Milwaukee, WI-The Pabst Theater
June 2-3-New York, NY-Lincoln Center for the
Performing Arts-Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center†
June 25-Newark, NJ-New Jersey Performing Arts Center†
June 28-Providence, RI-Veterans Memorial Auditorium†
June 30-Washington, DC-John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts†
July 1-Washington, DC-John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts†
July 8-Chautauqua, NY-Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater†
September 20-Spokane, WA-Martin Woldson Theatre at The Fox
September 22-Seattle, WA- Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
September 23-Portland, OR-Keller Auditorium
September 26-San Francisco, CA-The Masonic
September 27-Saratoga, CA-The Mountain Winery*
September 29-San Diego, CA-Humphrey's‡
September 30-Los Angeles, CA-Walt Disney Concert Hall


November 2-London, UK-London Palladium
November 3-London, UK-London Palladium
November 5-Glasgow, UK-Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
November 6-Manchester, UK-O2 Apollo Manchester
November 8-Dublin, IE-Olympia
November 11-Bath, UK-The Forum
November 13-Amsterdam, NL-Carré Theatre
November 14-Brussels, BE-Cirque Royal
*On-sale timing TBA
†With symphony orchestra
‡Sold Out


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Michael Major is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Marist College.After starting out running social media for a theatre company, his love of pop culture led him to intern at TigerBeat Media. Afte... (read more about this author)