After teasing fans with a series of cryptic images throughout the week, Bruce Springsteen announced a brand new studio album on Thursday morning — his first in more than five years.
The title, Western Stars, and track listing were paired with stunning album artwork which depicts a horse galloping through a vast desert landscape, accurately representing the record’s suggested “American themes.”
“This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements,” wrote Springsteen on Twitter. “It’s a jewel box of a record.”
Springsteen, 69, also revealed that the debut single, Hello Sunshine, will be released this Friday, April 26. It will be the first piece of original music since his last album, High Hopes (2014).
Western Stars is set to be released through Columbia Records on June 14.
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Western Stars takes Springsteen’s music “to a new place,” according to the official press release. It also draws inspiration “from the Southern Californian pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.”
It was recorded at Springsteen’s New Jersey-based home studio for the most part, with additional recordings from studios in California and New York.
Western Stars will be among the handful of albums which does not include any recordings from Springsteen’s longtime touring band, the E Street Band. It’s intended to reflect sonically on his previous solo releases.
Ron Aniello — who produced Springsteen’s previous two records — returned to the studio to produce Western Stars, along with specialist mixing engineer, Tom Elmhirst.
Other than the obvious lead vocalist, Springsteen is credited for playing all bass and keys on the album, among various other instruments.
E Street Band member and wife of Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, also provides vocals across the album.
Western Stars not only features a number of contributions from various established session musicians, like David Sancious, Charlie Giordano, and Soozie Tyrell, it also highlights a wide range of music arrangements: from strings to horns, all the way to pedal steels and synthesizers.
Although Springsteen has no upcoming tour dates, he is expected to announce a string of shows to coincide with the release of Western Stars.
Updates and additional information can be found on the official Bruce Springsteen website.
Western Stars will be available for pre-order starting on April 26. The lead single, Hello Sunshine will also be available to stream worldwide.
‘Western Stars’ tracklisting
1. Hitch Hikin’
2. The Wayfarer
3. Tucson Train
4. Western Stars
5. Sleepy Joe’s Café
6. Drive Fast (The Stuntman)
7. Chasin’ Wild Horses
9. Somewhere North of Nashville
11. There Goes My Miracle
12. Hello Sunshine
13. Moonlight Motel