On February 5, Ribbon Music is set to release We the Common, the third full-length album from critically acclaimed artist Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. The album cut "Holy Roller" is streaming now at www.thaoandthegetdownstaydown.com. Frontwoman Thao Nguyen notes that the track "was the first song I wrote for this new record...it marked a shift in how I operate. I was steadily, in an overdue way, becoming grateful for everything and everyone I had. I tried to capture a sense of revival and a determination to be better."
Recorded at San Francisco's Tiny Telephone Studios and Dallas' Elmwood Studio, We the Common was produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Bill Callahan, the Walkmen, Explosions in the Sky) and features a duet with Joanna Newsom on the track "Kindness Be Conceived." Thao observes, "We the Common is an album about wanting to be a human who tries and is grateful for the opportunity. It is about wanting to be better and closer to people. I have had over a year respite from touring and recording-in this year I started really trying to be a part of the community I live in and the family I was born into." The album is the follow-up to Thao's 2009 release Know Better Learn Faster, which Pitchfork praised for its "warm exuberance that keeps the music spry" while SPIN noted that Thao's "lazily smoky voice has its bitterly harsh moments, but her coolly analytical self-awareness stings the most."
Based in San Francisco after growing up in Falls Church, VA, Thao Nguyen first picked up a guitar at age 12. She has worked with a long list of acclaimed artists including Andrew Bird, Mirah, Laura Veirs and producer Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens) and has recorded a pair of critically acclaimed records for Kill Rock Stars, 2008's We Brave Bee Stings and All and the aforementioned 2009 release Know Better Learn Fasterwith her backing band the Get Down Stay Down. Since her last album Thao has worked with the artist advocacy non-profit Air Traffic Control (http://atctower.net/) and has volunteered extensively with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. This year, in addition to recording her forthcoming album, Thao has toured the US with the nationally syndicated NPR program "Radiolab."
"Ms. Nguyen's voice, wobbly and rich, is engaging, and her gently confessional lyrics...are equally beguiling."-The New York Times