The Avett Brothers Will Call For Unity In Forthcoming Album, Highlights Their Growth As Performers

The Avett Brothers will perform at the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 5:15 PM.

It's been nearly five years since folk-rock band The Avett Brothers first made their mark at the world-renowned Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival. The ensemble will make their triumphant return to the legendary fairgrounds Sunday, Sept. 25. 

The North Carolina-based band is slated to pull from their tenth studio album, "Closer Than Together," and critically acclaimed EP "The Third Gleam" during their must-see act on the Gold Record Road stage. Lead vocalist Seth Avett told CMT that playing the Franklin, TN weekend-long show was a no-brainer, as the family-friendly appeal attracted the group back.

"I realized this early on that the family-friendly festivals are really my jam – that's my favorite type," Avett exclusively shared ahead of his performance. "I love festivals that are sort of built around experience for people of any age. There's a celebratory vibe that happens at the festival, that's good for everybody, that's joyful, fun, and healthy," he pointed out. 

Although the Avett Brothers cultivated a loyal fan base with their rich storytelling and raw sound, the vocalist confirmed that they have naturally grown as musicians since making their Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival debut in 2017. 

"You're a different person than you were five years ago. We focus more on just trying to be sincere with ourselves and with the people that are kind enough to come and see us play. That sort of takes care of the variety factor. It will be a different experience from the last time they saw us live," he clarified before touching upon the evolution of the musical landscape. "If you look at my brother and me about 22 years ago, I feel like there was very little space and acceleration. But, we still had the drive to share who we were and to share what we wanted to do musically. That sped everything up and turned it into this whirlwind. Things have been changing, and I have to change. I feel like we've become a bit more dynamic and a bit more balanced. God willing, we will become more comfortable in our own skin every year." 

After spending over a decade in the music industry, the Avett Brothers have found their secret formula for a captivating live show. Their happy-go-lucky stage presence transcends to their audience, which creates a safe space for music enthusiasts.

"You don't really have to think so much about presenting, just be present," revealed Avett. "We're having more fun than we ever have. We are more capable technically, but just more forgiving when things don't go as planned. The shows lately have quite a lot of looseness, that's good because that's at the core of us. We are there [performing] for the same reason as they are [the fans], which is to connect and to seek some sincere fellowship and to have fun," he added. 

The same mindset and objective are expected to drive their forthcoming record, which will push for inclusivity. Avett has not confirmed a release date for the project, but said that tracklist would include 10 or 14 songs. 

"Lyrically speaking, I think it's relatively clear that Scott and I are both in the second half of life. I'm 42, and Scott's 46," clarified the artist. "We're at this really interesting time, where you really take inventory on a lot of things and look at big topics – what you're doing in this world? How are you serving? What's hurting? What's helping? That stuff is hitting very hard at the moment, and the conversation about God is nonstop." 

He continued to mention that those wonders will be analyzed within the collection, and their faith-centric beliefs will also be sprinkled throughout. 

"There's going to be a spiritual component, which I don't think would be much of a departure from what we've already done. I do feel like that's becoming a bit more pronounced," said Avett. "Sonically, there are quite a few textures happening." 

The highly anticipated LP has been a long time coming, as they started working on the writing and recording process in 2020. However, their plan of action was abruptly derailed when the global health crisis placed a hold on the entertainment business. Instead of working in a state-of-the-art studio in the dream city of Los Angeles, they stepped outside their comfort zone to keep their creative wheels turning. 

The Avett Brothers worked tirelessly with their sound engineer at their at-home studio to cultivate the well-rounded collection. 

"Everybody has their pandemic story. Our deal was that we had a nice big block of studio time booked for April 2020. We were all excited and fired up, had everything planned out in California," he explained. "We sort of stripped it down. It was just me, Scott, and Dana - our engineer controlling my computer." 

The seasoned musicians said they are now fine-tuning certain tracks in Nashville, before revealing the project to the public. 

"We're very close to finishing the new record," he said full of excitement. "We hope that they [the fans] find something in it that falls under the category of evidence of connection – unity or feeling less alone. I believe like music is the perfect way to access that connection. If they don't find that in our music, I hope they stop listening immediately and find it in some other music." 

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