Paste magazine originally published this article on March 24, 2020.
Sarah Jarosz just announced the release of her new LP, World on the Ground, due out on June 5 via Rounder. The latest from the three-time Grammy Award-winner and member of I’m With Her explores “the tension and inertia of small-town living, the push/pull between the desire for escape and the ease of staying put” in her follow up to her 2016 album, Undercurrent. Jarosz has also shared the single for the melancholy song “Johnny.”
World on the Ground is “conveyed through an assortment of stories set in her small Texas hometown” and “reveals Jarosz’s remarkable gift for looking outward while slipping into the inner lives of others,” as per a press release. Jarosz collaborated on the album with producer John Leventhal, recording in his New York City studio.
For Jarosz, “this album feels like the bird in the song who’s up on the seventh floor looking down at the world, taking it all in.” She adds, “I feel like that’s so much of the struggle today: trying to combat the noise around you, and get down to the real stuff that’s happening in our lives.” The singer drew inspiration for World on the Ground from Texas songwriters like Shawn Colvin, Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith and James McMurtry.
Jarosz discussed the process of creating the album, writing, “My favorite records are the ones I just want to play over and over again because of all the details that are there to discover,” she says. “As I was writing this record, it was the deepest I’d ever gone in terms of getting down to the very specific details in the way I told each story. The details are what make people feel something and connect the story to their own lives, and that’s really all I want for my music.”
The title of World On the Ground comes from the track, “Pay It No Mind,” from the lyrics, “When the world on the ground is gonna swallow you down/Sometimes you’ve got to pay it no mind.”
See the tracklist and cover art, and listen to the single, “Johnny” below.
World on the Ground Tracklist
02. Pay It No Mind
05. Orange and Blue
06. I’ll Be Gone
08. What Do I Do
09. Empty Square
10. Little Satchel