Even though Lydia Luce first came to consciousness in folk and Americana circles with her excellent 2018 debut, Azelea, the Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has been working hard to hone her craft for decades. The up-and-coming artist was immersed in music since infancy, as her professional conductor mother put a violin in her hands at an early age and she spent much of her childhood playing in a string quartet with her brother.

As Luce prepares to release her long-awaited sophomore record, Dark River, on February 26, the lifelong musician talked to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the process of writing and recording the highly-anticipated album. Over the course of the hour-long discussion, Luce also spoke about how she’s getting through the pandemic, having a tornado hit her home in March, her extensive and rigorous musical education, early tours with projects that preceded her solo work, and the pride she takes in her Lockeland Strings community arts organization.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Lydia Luce (“Dark River”).