Leave Your Sleep is the singer-songwriter’s fifth studio album and the follow-up to 2003’s The House Carpenter’s Daughter.

Merchant describes the new album as “the most elaborate project I have ever completed or even imagined.”

The two-disc release features songs adapted from poems by British Victorians, early-and mid-20th century Americans and contemporary writers as well as anonymous nursery rhymes. Merchant chose literary pieces by writers including Ogden Nash, E.E. Cummings, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, Edward Lear, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Robert Graves.

“The poems inspired vastly different musical settings with themes that ranged from humorous and absurd to tragic, romantic, and deeply spiritual,” Merchant explained. “The sessions involved 130 musicians and were recorded in live ensemble settings to capture a fresh and spontaneous energy. They were some of the most magical experiences I’ve ever had making music.”

The singer-songwriter collaborated with artists including the Wynton Marsalis Quartet, Medeski Martin & Wood, Fairfield Four, The Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, The Ditty Bops, members of the New York Philharmonic, The Klezmatics, Lúnasa and Hazmat Modine.

Leave Your Sleep is set for release April 13. Merchant kicks off her U.S. trek the night before with a two-night stand at The Concert Hall @ N.Y.S.E.C. in New York, April 12-13.
She returns to the Big Apple to wrap up the round of dates with a May 1 performance at the PEN World Voices Festival.

Additional shows include stops at the Getty Center in Los Angeles (April 20), Rubloff Auditorium in Chicago (April 24), Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Mass. (April 28) and Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. (April 30).

Merchant will stay busy through May with a European tour that includes gigs in Belgium, France and the U.K.

Fans can also catch the singer performing on “Good Morning America” April 13 as well as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” April 21.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here for Natalie Merchant’s Web site.