Esperanza Spalding’s (CRF 2018) latest project and eighth album, “Songwrights Apothecary Lab,” was recently reviewed in the New Yorker. S.A.L. taps into the healing powers of music, exploring how songwriters may incorporate knowledge in consultation with practitioners of music therapy, neuroscience, and more to create music that can have a specific effect on the listener.

“The songs produced by Spalding’s lab are exploratory acts, and the word ‘apothecary’ gives them an air of folk medicine. ‘All Formwelas (songs) from the S.A.L. are created through our research, divination, intuition, musicianship, taste, inspiration, and collaborative effort to design songs that enhance a specific salutary affect’… This is the opposite of improvisation—this music is carefully formulated, plotted with purpose—yet it retains much of the charm and the fearlessness of Spalding’s previous work. The compositions make efficient use of her relaxed voice, itself an instrument of healing capable of quieting the mind and unclenching the body.” Read the full article here, and listen to the album here.