Elvis Costello has unveiled plans to release a new studio album titled Hey Clockface on October 30.
Coinciding with the announcement, Costello has issued what turns out to be the third advance track from the album, “We Are All Cowards Now,” following “No Flag” in June and “Hetty O’Hara Confidential” in July. All three songs were recorded this past February in a studio in Helsinki, Finland. You can check out an animated lyric video for “We Are All Cowards Now” on Elvis’ official YouTube channel.
In addition to the three tracks Costello recorded in Helsinki, Hey Clockface features songs from sessions that took place in Paris and New York City.
Regarding the Paris sessions, Elvis notes, “I sang live on the studio floor, directing from the vocal booth. We cut nine songs in two days. We spoke very little. Almost everything the musicians played was a spontaneous response to the song I was singing. I’d had a dream of recording in Paris like this, one day.”
In Paris, Costello was accompanied by an ensemble that included his longtime keyboardist Steve Nieve, as well as a horn player, a cellist, a reed player and a drummer/percussionist.
The New York sessions were produced by veteran trumpet player Michael Leonhart, who’s worked with Steely Dan, Michael McDonald and many others. The recordings also featured two guitarists, acclaimed jazz artist Bill Frisell and longtime Wilco member Nels Cline. Costello contributed vocals remotely.
“Michael sent this music to me from New York at the perfect time,” Elvis says. “It connected to elements in both of the previous sessions and completed the picture.”
Costello adds about Hey Clockface, “I wanted the record to be vivid, whether the songs demanded playing that was loud and jagged or intimate and beautiful.”
Here’s the Hey Clockface track list:
“They’re Not Laughing at Me Now”
“I Do (Zula’s Song)”
“We Are All Cowards Now”
“Hey Clockface/How Can You Face Me?”
“Hetty O’Hara Confidential”
“The Last Confession of Vivian Whip”
“What Is It That I Need That I Don’t Already Have?”
“Radio Is Everything”
“I Can’t Say Her Name”
By Matt Friedlander
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