Perfect Hindsight: RUTH MOODY (The Wailin’ Jennys) Makes Triumphant Return With “Seventeen” From Upcoming Album ‘Wanderer’ Out May 17 On Blue Muse Records/True North Records

No matter how far you think you’ve come, it’s hard to resist thinking about what might have been. That’s the rationale behind “Seventeen,” the achingly wistful single from Canadian singer-songwriter Ruth Moody’s forthcoming album, Wanderer, out May 17 on Blue Muse Records/True North Records.

Check it out on YouTube:

In her gentle yet authoritative soprano, Moody looks back on a teenage crush that followed the sad but typical trajectory from something craved to something squandered:

If I could go back 

I’d show you all the ways that you made me feel 

If I could go back 

I’d take you in my arms, try and set us free

If I could go back 

I wouldn’t be here now trying to say “I’m sorry”

I was seventeen

The open-tuned guitars, delicate delivery and overall “sadder but wiser” vibe of the track reveal Moody’s debt to one of her musical heroes, Joni Mitchell, indeed. At the same time, the infectious melody and eternally relevant depiction of adolescent yearning give “Seventeen” a commercial potential that puts it right up there with the Taylors and Avrils of today.

Check it out to pre-save here:

The song is an uncharacteristically long look back for Wanderer, which mostly concerns itself with the path Moody’s life has taken since the release of her last album, 2013’s These Wilder Things. Basically, she went on an extended hiatus to start a family—hey, John Lennon did it too—and being a mother to a now-7-year-old has lent maturity and focus to the 10 new cuts she and co-producer Dan Knobler laid down at Sound Emporium in Nashville – she currently splits her time between Music City USA and Victoria, BC.

Accruing wisdom has been a lifelong process for Moody, starting with her formative years on a goat farm in Manitoba and the dual education in music and English she received from her teacher parents. She went from singing with her siblings to picking up a guitar, and by her 20s was firmly on the road to success with the Billboard-charting and JUNO-Award-winning folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, which she co-founded in 2002 (and remains with to this day). Her parallel solo career began in 2010, and she’s also made time for a number of high-profile collaborations with the legendary Mark Knopfler. As a guest in his band, and The Wailin’ Jennys, and as a solo act, she’s appeared on some of the most prestigious stages around the world.

Moody will celebrate the release of Wanderer with a tour of top listening rooms in the U.S. Dates booked so far are as follows:

May 21: Ram’s Head, Annapolis, MD

May 22: World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA

May 23: The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA

May 25: Joe’s Pub, New York City

May 26: State Theatre, State College, PA

May 28: SPACE, Evanston, IL

May 29: Vivarium, Milwaukee, WI

May 30: Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, OH

July 13 + 14: Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg, MB

Moody’s welcome back to the concert stage begins less than a week after Wanderer drops. What a way to say “You barely look a day past ‘Seventeen.’”