Mark Erelli Shares Latest Single From Upcoming Album ”The Man I Am”

Beloved Boston-area singer-songwriter Mark Erelli has released “The Man I Am” the latest from his forthcoming LP, Lay Your Darkness Down, due out on February 3rd via Soundly Music. Erelli penned the soulfully sultry single in tribute to his wife, Polly.

“It is hard for me to imagine what my life would look like if not for the love of my wife, who I’ve been married to for 20 years,” he says. “She has encouraged and supported all the good parts of me, while lovingly insisting that I can improve upon my counterproductive habits and mindsets. I’m stubborn and fiercely independent, but above all, she has shown me how letting someone else into your heart can truly transform your life. In that spirit of transformation, I tried to push into some new sonic territory on this track, framing my voice against a spare drum machine for the first verse,” he adds. “The result is one of my favorite recorded vocal performances, raw, soulful, and elevated by the transformative power of love.”

“The Man I Am” follows the release of “You’re Gonna Wanna Remember This,” an epic track he co-wrote with his “musical big sister,” GRAMMY-winning artist Lori McKenna. “The world now knows her as a hit country songwriter, but to me she has been a constant source of compassion and supportive friend for almost 25 years,” he says. “There have been many times when, in her infinite wisdom, Lori has said to me ‘pay attention, this is something you’ll always want to remember.’ When she offered to help teach me how to use Zoom as a remote co-writing tool during the pandemic, it was only natural that her advice came back to inspire this song.”

Though they are decorated with references to shadows, light, and obscured vision, the tracks on Lay Your Darkness Down is about resilience, love, and the human condition. The album is also a collection of affirmations and optimism in the face of despair; it is a clarion call for anyone lost in the shadows. Yet Erelli doesn’t proclaim any easy answers for how to navigate the unknown. Instead, he squarely examines question after question, reveling in mysteries both great and small. With equal parts hope and resignation, he reminds us in the title track that our deepest challenges are more than a simple test of our endurance—they ultimately help us chart our course. 

Photo Courtesy: Joe Navas