It’s been five years since the release of the Indigo Girls’ last album, One Lost Day, and fans have been eagerly awaiting the beloved Georgia duo’s return. The wait is now over. Out today is Look Long, the sixteenth studio album from bandmates Amy Ray and Emily Saliers.
Produced by longtime collaborator John Reynolds, the new release was recorded across the pond—in Bath, England, at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios—but the American South plays a starring role. The debut single, “When We Were Writers,” travels back in time for a nostalgic look at Saliers’s years in New Orleans at Tulane University, complete with quarter beers, all-nighters, and dive bar gigs. “Shit Kickin’,” an ode to childhood memories in the country, conjures kudzu, dirt bike rides, and Tanya Tucker tunes. And throughout is the heartfelt songwriting that has endeared the band to fans for more than three decades, as in “Feel This Way Again” (“One day you’ll try to make it back / When you’re older and you’re restless and you miss the past”).
Though it may still be a while before fans get to hear some of these new numbers in person, the Indigo Girls have been doing their best to stay connected while stuck at home, bringing their shows to living rooms and laptops. In March, after a string of cancellations, the duo hosted a live stream performance seen by nearly 80,000 people, and in the weeks that followed, Ray often appeared live on Facebook and Instagram to perform and interact with listeners. “A lot of it was just to get me in the headspace of playing every day, exercising that muscle,” she says. “I found that it made me feel a lot better—grounded and less kind of frenetic about what’s happening in life.” This month, the Indigo Girls hosted a three-part weekly live streaming series, which culminated in an all-request concert benefiting Feeding the Valley, a food bank serving counties in West Georgia and Alabama.