Multi-award-winning artist and Milk! Records co-founder Jen Cloher is today sharing the third single “My Witch” from their forthcoming fifth album I Am The River, The River Is Me which will be released on 3rd March 2023 via Milk! Records / Marathon Artists. Cloher will also embark on a European tour in June with a run of UK dates.
On the new single, Cloher said “I went to a party in 2022 where a friend had hired a portable cedar spa. They had set it up in the backyard and after a big feast people started to pile in. As the night progressed things became more and more debauched, bodies tangled together, laughter and booze, like a Bacchanalian scene in a forest… cut to 6 months later when I’m trying to think of a way to tell a funny (but sexy) story to accompany My Witch. I had been attending Pony Club Gym in Preston for a couple of years and I thought it would make the perfect setting for a pair of babes to be flirting during a steamy workout. Then to casting.. if there’s anyone who reps body positivity and owning their deep hotness it has to be Georgia Maq from Camp Cope. I had my Witch slash Personal Trainer cast!
The gym scene needed to be about holding back though because the suggestion of something happening is sexier. Then it came to me! The explosion the song needed during the mega raunch guitar solo could take place in a spa cauldron. Georgia would lure me to her coven where things would turn wild. . Now to casting a coven of hot witches.. Seeing as me and Georgia are songwriters and performers it made sense that her coven would be overflowing with iconic Naarm based songwriting witches – Mo’Ju, Alice Skye, Kira Puru and Lay the Mystic all said yes to my invitation to spend an evening in a spa eating a lot of watermelon. The rest is history.”
Cloher’s first album in five years, I Am The River, The River Is Me, is verdant and rich; it luxuriates in stillness, and carries itself with cool, unfussy confidence. It suggests that home is not found in a place or a politic, but in the community you keep: Inspired by Cloher’s powerful matrilineal line of wāhine Māori, I Am The River, The River Is Me is not urgent, or hurried, but it is vital, made with the care and ease of someone who knows that their past began before birth, and will continue long after they’re gone.
I Am The River, The River Is Me is an album of remarkable generosity and grace. Recorded between Aotearoa (NZ) and Naarm (Melbourne) with producers Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams), Anika Ostendorf (Hachiku) and Cloher’s longtime drummer Jen Sholakis; the album brings in trailblazing artists including Emma Donovan (Gumbaynggirr, Yamatji), Kylie Auldist, Liz Stringer, Te Kaahu (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tīpā), Ruby Solly (Kai Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) and members of the Naarm-based Kapa Haka, Te Hononga o ngā Iwi. The entire record feels communal — a celebration not just of Cloher, but of the rich, life-filled communities that surround them.
These are fiercely political songs that never feel heavy: They are energetic and full-blooded, alive with the knowledge that to simply exist — to scream and laugh and sing and make art — is as much a form of resistance as to fight.
Finding yourself, finding your home, is an unruly, never-ending process; I Am The River, The River Is Me is not a perfect self-portrait, and it possesses no universal truth about what it means to be Māori, or to be wahine toa (a strong woman), or to be takatāpui, or even to be Jen Cloher. Instead, it captures something else — a picture of humanity and community as a gorgeous, unfathomable mess. The joy of life, Cloher seems to say, is in forgiving your moments of weakness with grace, and embracing the parts of you that are unfinished. On “Aroha Mai, Aroha Atu”, they put it simply, and perfectly: “I may have come late, but better late than never.”
Pre-save / Pre-orderI Am The River, The River Is Me here: https://jen-cloher.lnk.to/iamtheriver
See Jen Cloher live:
7 Jun – Deaf Institute, Manchester UK (Tickets)
8 Jun – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds UK (Tickets)
9 Jun – The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle UK (Tickets)
10 Jun – Stereo, Glasgow UK (Tickets)
11 Jun – The Hare & Hounds, Birmingham UK (Tickets)
13 Jun – Jazz Café, London UK (Tickets)
14 Jun – Louisiana, Bristol UK (Tickets)
15 Jun – Green Door Store, Brighton UK (Tickets)
16 Jun – Witfloof Bar Botanique, Brussels BE (Tickets)
17 Jun – EKKO, Utrecht NL (Tickets)
18 Jun – Rotown, Rotterdam NL (Tickets)
20 Jun – Supersonic, Paris FR (Tickets)
22 Jun – Molotow Skybar, Hamburg DE (Tickets)
23 Jun – Privatclub, Berlin DE (Tickets)