Bruce Hornsby’s next record Absolute Zero has been announced on the official site for an April 12 release. Not only is it great music, but with a title like that it will always sit at the top of your iTunes A to Z list. Here’s a list of where you can hear some of it now, how to pre-order it and where to buy the first single, which is already out.
Bruce’s Instagram page has been teasing songs all this week, minus the vocals:
The first released track is entitled “Voyager One” and features yMusic. It’s described by Bruce as “Steve Reich meets Prince” and it’s already available… you can buy it at:
Si’s note: This is just a tremendous record. It’s more Big Swing Face than Big Swing Face! I absolutely love it… so much to learn here. Can’t wait to navigate whatever rabbit holes they’re going to send us all down with the live versions. Meds and Echolocation are early favourites, which of course will change tomorrow. Bruce’s music is a constantly stirring and stimulating challenge. I always feel like those guys are elevating my musical education as much as broadening my horizons. I look forward to hearing more of yMusic and The Staves.
From February 22’s New York Times: “Contemplating the optimism of space travel and discord on Earth, Bruce Hornsby delivers a swinging, Minimalistic chamber-pop hoedown, an Aaron Copland-tinged romp with yMusic’s horns and strings ricocheting all around Hornsby’s percussive piano clusters. It’s genial and upbeat, but far from complacent.”
Bruce recently gave his thoughts on the new record to Jason P. Woodbury in a half-hour interview which you can hear at Aquarium Drunkard. The interview takes us through the songs we’ll be spending a lot of time listening to in the near future, opening with a clip of “Echolocation” and closing with “Absolute Zero”.
Lots to learn here, and several new paths to follow. Several guests are onboard, and the wonderful yMusic feature throughout. Here are the track names and guests, per iTunes:
- Absolute Zero (featuring Jack DeJohnette)
- Cast-Off (featuring Justin Vernon and S. Carey)
- Meds (featuring Justin Vernon, Blake Mills and Rob Moose)
- Never in this House (featuring yMusic and The Staves)
- Voyager One (featuring yMusic)
- The Blinding Light of Dreams (featuring yMusic)
- White Noise
- Take You There (Misty) (featuring yMusic)
Bruce talks about how scoring Spike Lee’s projects influenced this recording. “Over the past decade I’ve written fully 230 different cues, ranging from one to five minutes in length. Through the last ten years of doing this there always were certain cues that sounded like they wanted to be songs, wanted to be developed into something more than just cues, more than just tiny instrumentals setting moods for conversations in a film over dinner, or whatever.” He then began working with these Lee cues — lengthening or shortening or repeating them. “You sculpt and shape the music accordingly, based on the new information you’ve created over top of these cues.” Credit: Bruce’s Facebook bio.
Says the press release: Bruce’s interest in literary fiction, specifically the work of Don DeLillo and the late David Foster Wallace, inspired his songwriting this time. The songs, both in spirit and memory, function collectively as a homage to fiction writing that, while often poetic, takes no prisoners. The multi-faceted album is another example of his constant musical evolution and how he’s able to combine disparate elements into an accessible soundscape.
Of the tracks, it explains, “Predominantly produced by Hornsby, the 10-track album includes added production from Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird, Public Image Ltd.) and Brad Cook (Sharon Van Etten, Hiss Golden Messenger). Absolute Zero also includes musical contributions from yMusic, The Staves, Blake Mills, Jack DeJohnette, Sean Carey, The “Orchestra of St. Hanks” (The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra – Frost School/University of Miami), Hornsby’s longtime band The Noisemakers and more. The track “Cast-Off” was co-written with Vernon who also duets with Hornsby on the track while “Take You There (Misty)” was co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.”
And from Bruce: “Collages. That’s exactly what my new album is on a musical level. You go into my studio and there’s just crap everywhere – a vibraslap here, a train whistle there, a crappy old violin I’m playing badly. And then there’s my brother playing some dog-shitty violin that’s vibey as hell.”
We’ll have much more to come as we approach April 12. Get your copy now using the above links!