Amanda Palmer stuns with piano performance in The Current studio

Amanda Palmer performs her crowd-sourced song "Drowning in the Sound" at The Current. (MPR Video / Nate Ryan)
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Amanda Palmer - Full session + interview
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  • Amanda Palmer - Full session + interview 41:16
  • Amanda Palmer - Drowning In the Sound (live) 06:23
  • Amanda Palmer - Voicemail for Jill (live) 05:48
  • Amanda Palmer - The Ride (live) 09:57

Ironically, given the title of her new album, Amanda Palmer's current tour is her first to feature an intermission. "The show is so long," she told The Current's Mac Wilson, "and it's seated, so it would have been inhumane to force people to sit in a theater seat for four hours and listen to me talk."

The title makes sense, though, as "a perfect metaphor" for her life over the past several years, she said. "There is no intermission. Trauma and grief and the things we endure as human beings are not politely, conveniently scheduled for us."

Neither is climate change, a topic Palmer takes on in her song "Drowning in the Sound." She said the song was the product of a flash songwriting session for her Patreon supporters, who told her they were fearing isolated and concerned.

"Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on Texas at the time," she remembered. "Everyone was very afraid that it was going to be the next Katrina, and there was a real tangible fear, especially about climate change and about our ability to stay connected to each other when things went bad."

She's become one of the best-known artists to use a subscription-patronage model, and she said she "had no idea" how liberating it would be for her songwriting. "I always just had that little voice in the back of my head going, 'I'm going to have to sell this. I'm going to have to market this.'"

With 15,000 patrons, "there's something incredibly just, galvanizing about the fact that these people have pre-paid to hear whatever it is that I have to say."

One of the other topics Palmer has been addressing, in her music and in other ways, is abortion. Recently, she authored a widely-shared Twitter thread about her experiences, citing her new song "Voicemail for Jill."

"The difficult thing about the abortion conversation," she said, "is that not only does any woman want to rush off and get an abortion — it's not a lot of fun — but no woman wants to have to get up and talk about it. It's so personal, it's so emotional, it's such a pain to make that the center of your daily discussion. And yet, with the laws going the way they are and the direction of the country going the way it is, I just feel like I have to get up and talk about it."

Songs performed: Drowning in the Sound, Voicemail for Jill, The Ride (web exclusive)

All songs from Amanda Palmer's 2019 album 'There Will Be No Intermission" available now on 8ft. Records

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  • Amanda Palmer performs in The Current studio
    Amanda Palmer performs in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Amanda Palmer performs in The Current studio
    Amanda Palmer performs in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)