Bruce Springsteen has confirmed the release of a new album, “Western Stars,” that he describes as “drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.” It will come out on June 14, with pre-ordering starting on April 26.
“This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements,” says Springsteen in a press release. “It’s a jewel box of a record.”
The press release said the album will “encompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope.”
The single “Hello Sunshine” and its video were released at midnight April 25.
It has already been played on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio show, and I’ve heard it, so I can confirm that it does indeed have a “sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangement.” It also has a melancholy tone, with a pedal steel guitar underscoring the prayerful quality of lyrics such as, “Hello sunshine, won’t you stay.”
Springsteen sings at a slow pace, but there’s a fast, urgent beat underlying the music. I don’t think his fans will be disappointed, even though it reminded me more of some of the more introspective Tunnel of Love songs than the kind of rousing anthem we might expect from a new Springsteen studio album’s first single.
Ron Aniello produced the album, and Patti Scialfa adds vocals and vocal arrangements to four tracks. Others making musical contributions include Jon Brion, David Sancious, Charlie Giordano and Soozie Tyrell.
The press release does not say anything about Springsteen playing (or not playing) concerts in connection with the album’s release.
Here is the track listing:
“Hitch Hikin’ ”
“Sleepy Joe’s Café”
“Drive Fast (The Stuntman)”
“Chasin’ Wild Horses”
“Somewhere North of Nashville”
“There Goes My Miracle”
Springsteen’s last studio album was High Hopes, in 2014.
Here is the video for “Hello Sunshine”:
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