Sara Watkins’ new “Young in All the Wrong Ways” video is bookended by shots of the singer-songwriter holding a lantern, driving home the theme of illuminating hindsight.
“You remind me of the girl I was, back when I was young in all the wrong ways,” she sings in the Emilie Sabath-directed clip, which was was filmed in the mountains of Palmdale, California, and features the picturesque scenery as Watkins’ only co-star.
Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, the singer’s partners in the trio I’m With Her, provide background vocals on “Young in All the Wrong Ways,” which see-saws from tender folk to frenetic pop-rock. It’s a fitting choice for the title track of the musician’s third solo album, which is set to hit stores July 1st. The Young in All the Wrong Ways LP has Watkins stepping out on her own once again and taking considerable sonic leaps from her various bands, which also include Nickel Creek (which she co-founded at just eight years old) and Watkins Family Hour. Watkins wrote or co-wrote all 10 tracks on the upcoming album, creating a musical diary of her past few years.
“I looked around and realized that in many ways I wasn’t who or where I wanted to be,” she says. “It’s been a process of letting go and leaving behind patterns and relationships and in some cases how I’ve considered myself. What these songs are documenting is the turmoil you feel when you know something has to change and you’re grappling with what that means. It means you’re losing something and moving forward into the unknown.”
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After sets at Bonnaroo and the Telluride Bluegrass and Country Festival, Watkins will next perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., this Friday with I’m With Her. Their performance is part of the American Acoustic series curated by Watkins’ Nickel Creek bandmate, Chris Thile. See more of her tour dates here.