Tales of America: The Second Coming, the deluxe version of singer-songwriter J.S. Ondara’s breakout debut album, will be released on September 20 via Verve Forecast. The deluxe version will be comprised of the standard album tracklist with five additional bonus tracks including a feature by Madison Cunningham and a cover of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” which is available now. Listen/share the song HERE. Pre-order the deluxe version HERE.

To support the release, Ondara is set to appear on “CBS This Morning: SaturdaySeptember 7 and will perform on the 2019 Americana Awards stage on September 11. He is nominated for “Best Emerging Act” at this year’s awards.

The music continues to receive widespread critical acclaim—Billboard recently featured the LP as one of their “50 Best Albums of 2019 (So Far)” and “Saying Goodbye” was featured in NPR Music’s “Best Songs of 2019 So Far.” He was also profiled for PBS’ “NewsHour” and made appearances on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “World Cafe.”

Following a completely sold out debut headline run, as well as standout performances at Xponential Festival, Newport Folk Festival and Edmonton Folk Festival this summer, Ondara has confirmed further U.S. and international tour dates throughout the fall. Brooklyn Vegan praises his live performance as “one of the most commanding sets…with just his voice and acoustic guitar, he had the packed room mesmerized and so silenced that you could hear a pin drop.” More details below.

Tales of America is a completely acoustic album produced by Grammy-nominated Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis). The LP was recorded at Boulevard Recording and East West Studios in Los Angeles, with all lyrics written by Ondara. It features collaborations with Andrew Bird, Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes and Joey Ryan of The Milk Carton Kids. Watch the previously released videos for “American DreamHERE, “Saying GoodbyeHERE, “Torch SongHERE and “Television GirlHERE.

J.S. Ondara grew up in Nairobi, Kenya listening to American alt-rock and making up his own songs for as long as he can remember. At an early age he fell in love with the music of Bob Dylan and moved to Minneapolis in 2013 to pursue a career as a singer and songwriter. He began making his way in the local music scene, continually writing songs about what he saw, felt and experienced in a place far different from home. Since then, he has toured nationwide, opening for Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham, Anderson East, First Aid Kit, The Milk Carton Kids, Mt. Joy and The Head & The Heart.

Recent critical praise for Tales of America:

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“singing songs about America through his unique perspective and stunning voice”
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“…a clear-eyed acoustic newcomer’s tale of American promise and calamity that
establishes him as an invigorating new voice in American folk music.”
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“It’s that sense of searching combined with Ondara’s spellbinding and, well, haunting
voice that makes this an early contender for one of the finest and most moving
Americana albums of the year.”
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“Bringing his fresh take on Americana and the American experience, Ondara’s
voice is a welcome and refreshing sound and perspective for the genre.”
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“Ondara owns a striking singing voice, which ranges from a velvety croon to an immaculate
upper-register. Really, you’ve just got to hear it yourself.”
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“Who knew that the next Great American Novel, as it were, would come
from a soulful Kenya-born acoustic musician and lyricist…”
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“…leverages his unease as an outsider into an album full of romantic storytelling—Ondara counts Bob Dylan as a major influence—but with a sound all his own.”
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Tales Of America contains sweet and austere musings on love, loss and the elusory American dream, set within simple melodies, all driven by Ondara’s velvety voice.”
Tales of America: The Second Coming
1. American Dream
2. Torch Song
3. Saying Goodbye
4. Days Of Insanity
5. Television Girl
6. Turkish Bandana
7. Lebanon
8. Good Question
9. Master O’Connor
10. Give Me a Moment
11. God Bless America
Bonus Tracks
12. Saying Goodbye (Boulevard Demo)
13. Torch Song (Echo Park)
14. Milk and Honey feat. Madison Cunningham
15. Heart of Gold
16. I’m Afraid of Americans
September 13—Harrisburg, PA—XL Live
September 14—Burlington, VT—Grand Point North Festival
September 20-21—Singapore, Singapore—FORMULA 1 Singapore Grand Prix
September 28—Everleigh, Australia—Zone Out International Music Festival
October 10—Portland, OR—Aladdin Theater
October 11—Vancouver, BC—Hollywood Theater
October 13—Seattle, WA—Neumos
October 17—San Francisco, CA—The Independent
October 18—Los Angeles, CA—Troubadour [SOLD OUT]
October 19—Los Angeles, CA—Troubadour [SOLD OUT]
October 21—Denver, CO—Bluebird Theater
October 24—Chicago, IL—Lincoln Hall
October 25—Holland, MI—Park Theatre (Hope College Concert Series)
October 26—Toronto, ON—Mod Club Theater
October 27—Montreal, Canada—L’Astral
October 29—Philadelphia, PA—World Café Live
October 30—Washington, DC—6th & I
November 1—Boston, MA—Sinclair [SOLD OUT]
November 2—Brooklyn, NY—Music Hall of Williamsburg
November 26—Orleans, France—L’Astrolabe
November 27—Paris, France—Élysée Montmartre
November 28—Dijon, France—La Vapeur
November 29—Mulhouse, France—Noumatrouff
December 7—Minneapolis, MN—First Avenue