As Kristin Andreassen prepares to release her latest album Gondolier next week (Feb. 17), Diffuser is beyond thrilled to premiere it in its entirety ahead of time. Check it out in the audio player below.

Gondolier marks Andreassen's sophomore full-length effort; it finds the artist at her most beautiful and intricate, showcasing her immense understanding of how a folk song should sound and be arranged.

“The album is about deciding to go all in as a songwriter. I’ve been making my living as a dancer, and old time fiddler and guitar player, and a writer of songs for nearly 10 years,” Andreassen tells us. “You might think I had committed long ago, but there lurked within me this assumption that one day I would grow up and do something else in ‘real life.’”

She goes on, “When my two busy bands, Uncle Earl and Sometimes Why, decided to take a break a few years back, I stopped writing for awhile. And I missed it. ‘The Fish and the Sea’ was one of the first new songs after the dry spell, when I felt like a fish in a tree: ‘When we get caught up in the air / That’s when we see the water down there / I know I need it on my skin / Oh would you throw me back in.’”

How was Andreassen able to get over that dry spell? “I went on a writing retreat to an island in New Hampshire, and I’m sure that’s partly why there’s so much water imagery in these lyrics,” she explains. “In the title track, I say, ‘No man is an island, but most of us choose one / There are islands for bakers and bankers and thieves.’ With this album, I’m staking a small claim on an island for songmakers, and that feels right."

Gondolier hits the streets on Feb. 17 and has been overfunded thanks to a Pledgemusic campaign. You can get more details on the disc -- including pre-order information -- here. She has a several shows scheduled through April, culminating in a performance at this year’s American Roots Music Festival in Katonah, New York. You can pick up her whole itinerary at her official website.