Personally, I am extremely excited. The scary thing is, Tyler’s All Your’n” is an incredibly well written song and has been amazing every time I’ve heard it live. His next album will probably be country, possibly bluegrass.
sturgill simpson sing along – Sturgill Simpson Contact
Sturgill Simpson has a new album coming this fall called Sound & Fury, and it will be accompanied by an anime film of the same name to be released on Netflix. I’m not saying that people don’t have the right to be like I don’t like this new direction”, hell I don’t like this new direction Sturgill has taken. I’m just so over the people acting like Sturgill owes them a traditional country record. It just reeks of entitlement.
As someone who loves soul music, I loved his work with The Daptones as his backing band on Sailors Guide. I thought him and the band did a pretty good job melding countrypolitan and memphis soul influences into something cohesive and very unique.
Sturgill needs to do what Sturgill wants to do. And I’m buying because all three of his records are excellent. Don’t worry, he has plenty of albums left in him. He will make great country music again. And who knows, the new record might be more country then he is letting on.
I knew I wanted to make a concept record in song-cycle form, like my favorite Marvin Gaye records where everything just continuously flows. I also wanted it to be something that when my son is older and maybe I’m gone, he can listen to it and get a sense of who I was. I just wanted to talk as directly to him as possible.”He does just that on opener Welcome To Earth (Pollywog),” which kicks the album off with a tense drone intro that relents to a Bowie-by-way-of-Bradley piano theme. Simpson sings like there aren’t actually thousands of fans listening in: Hello, my son, welcome to Earth. You may not be my last but you’ll always be my first.” A few measures later, the song explodes into a stomping r&b coda that showcases his soulful vocals and the down-and-dirty flash of the Dap-Kings horn section.
Country isn’t the only genre that needs saving”, and if Sturgill wants to save rock too then more power to him. But if the goal of an artist becomes more focused on saving or preserving tradition than innovating and building upon the foundations of those traditions, then they aren’t an artist at all. I’d rather see someone like Sturgill Simpson perform in whatever genre suits his creative expression at the time than chain himself to whatever keeps the genre purist comment sections happy.
My actual point would be, I’ve yet to hear anyone actually argue he should be denied his right” to make music in whatever genre and at whatever quality he sees fit. I’ve not seen a single argument in favor of his imprisonment. I’ve not actually seen anyone demanding reimbursement because they were owed” a country record. To my knowledge, not a single civil suit has been filed to date.
What I don’t get is the level of attention shown to this guy from country music fans when he seems so dead-set on rejecting that attention as an imposition on his artisteness.
On a personal level, I would rather Sturgill Simpson continue to release country records because I’m a country music fan. But I’m a fan of all music first, so I’ll listen to it with an open mind, and judge it on its own merit. Sturgill is being honest that his next record won’t be country, which is a hell of a lot better than someone trying to pass off music as country when it isn’t.
Music created in a moment that fleeting isn’t something you can tuck away in the cloud for the rest of your life. It can survive only in your head as a memory. Halfway through the show, Simpson explained his recent hard-rock pivot like so: It’s where the music wants to go.” There it went.
Higher than negligible, I’d guess. He seems to be a bit of a bookish sort. But the album isn’t going to be called The Sound and the Fury. Maybe he had to read MacBeth in high school and memorize the soliloquy, like I had to? See, that might have been the way to go.
I’ve never been a Sturgill fan. Sailor’s Guide was too out there for me. It definitely wasn’t country. It sounds like he’s departing even further from country now.
Sound and Fury begins much in the same way as Simpson’s recent live set: with an exploratory psych-blues jam. Establishing the tone on the four minute instrumental Ronin,” Simpson is smart enough to cede much of the narrative storytelling of Sound and Fury to his guitar. As a guitarist, Simpson is uninterested in conventional guitar god shredding; his playing is curious, fluid and full of wonder. The most thrilling moment on the record, and perhaps in Simpson’s entire catalog, comes nearly two minutes into Make Art Not Friends,” the album’s shimmering creative introvert anthem centerpiece, when Bobby Emmett’s hypnotic keyboard pattern gives way to a booming staccato guitar riff. Think it’s time to change up the sound,” as Simpson puts it.
I’m not sure where this whole This ain’t saving country music!” litmus test for articles sprang from over the last year or so. I’m covering the same shit I always do. This is a country music website. Just because I cover a song, album, or artist, doesn’t mean I’m proclaiming it’s saving country music.” It’s just the name of the website. I’ve also never said, or would ever say that I’m a country music’s savior.” It’s just a name.
You presume Sturgill ever gave a damn about saving country music”. Most of the interviews I have read with him, he has expressed a deep love and appreciation for Country music, but he always warned” he would do whatever he wanted to do (sound wise) album to album.
Ha. Yeah. I suppose the common ground is we are all disappointed in the direction of the music but, also getting tired of the redundant debate of whether we should still care. At one time I put Sturgill atop the musicians likely to save country music” and have more seriously advocated both on his behalf and in opposition to his current direction within prior comments and discussions. Aside from a few like-minded individuals chiming in with support, I’m pretty sure it was wasted effort and I don’t think I ever changed anyone’s mind. People’s minds are made up prior to the beginning of the debate and that’s fine. However, in recognition of this, toying with the analogy seemed more interesting and equally productive as a serious comment at this point.
All Simpson ever really had to do was keep making records like that or his 2014 breakthrough, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, and he’d be the latest incarnation of a critically beloved, slightly off-center, New Balance-wearing Waylon Jennings.
I can’t help feel a sense of missed opportunity. A few years ago, he had the perfect 4 pierce band that could get in a room, and just play badass music. It was pretty magical” – I know that might sound a bit exaggerated, but for me it was true. There was something pure and real about that. Adding horns , convoluted production, an anime film…. all COULD be interesting, but it seems to be providing negative returns,to me at least anyway. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people expressing that disappointment, while at the same time wishing him well in doing what he wants to do.
Well, let’s see. His last song (The Dead Don’t Die) is without question traditional country. His last album won the Grammy for best country album. Not a whole lot of country on it, but definitely a roots album and so it falls under the SCM umbrella. He produced the 2017 SCM Album of the Year (Purgatory by Tyler Childers). And then there’s the fact that SCM was the first outlet to champion Sturgill back in 2011 when he was fronting Sunday Valley. I got to see him play a no cover show back in 2013 and wouldn’t have heard of him if not for SCM. And so some of us long time readers who are country music fans but not JUST country music fans might be interested in what he’s doing next, even if it’s possible it won’t be up our alley.
Hmm. Problem is, people DON’T support chefs who cook whatever they want. People support chefs that make good food they like to eat. I suppose chefs have every right to cook only unedible vegan food if they want but, it is an odd choice if you became a prestigious chef for opening a steakhouse. People like steaks and people like McDonald’s notwithstanding its utter lack of any nutritional” value, otherwise mainstream country radio wouldn’t exist 🙂 People do not support chefs who no longer make good food though.
It is his right to make whatever sort of music he wishes, as it is my right to listen, support, or not. I may support his project or veering away from country music, but that does not mean I will listen to it. I really like most of his country stuff, and do not like some of it, especially the stuff that sort of ‘walks the line’ in my opinion. I still don’t have a problem with him trying different genres, though. It’s my opinion and I have the right to be wrong, like everybody else.
Made quickly with his touring band at a studio in Detroit, it’s all blown-out synths and guitars, with Simpson’s baritone fuzzed up and buried in the mix. Lyrically, he goes after the Nashville mainstream and the usual music biz jerkies – “You know they don’t like it when you take a stand,” he sings – and hints at leaving it all behind.
Singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson’s latest album — the psychedelic Sound & Fury — is accompanied by an original Netflix anime film featuring work by veteran Japanese animators.
But throughout Sound & Fury,” it’s difficult to figure out what Simpson expects of himself. This is a shrill, tetchy, claustrophobic rock album sodden with record-biz pouting and only the dullest shades of pre-apocalyptic ennui. And believe it or not, it’s not without precedent. Back in 2010, Shooter Jennings dropped Black Ribbons,” a similarly mutated country album with a dystopian lyric sheet and at least a half-dozen guitar riffs that pushed the perimeters of good taste.
The thing that made Black Ribbons” so cool was that Jennings sounded as if he were secretly having a blast. On Sound & Fury,” Simpson only sounds aggrieved, grousing about how he wants to make art, not friends” with a joylessness that won’t generate either. And don’t bother with the album’s accompanying anime film on Netflix. As far-out as the concept might sound, it’s basically a sequence of end-times battle scenes with the album blasting in the background.
Ill tell you what, I haven’t heard this new music and will give it a chance just for fun. If it is great, Ill happily come back to this very post and concede I deserve to huff a dong” for having the gall to doubt the great Strugill Simpson IF, you’ll huff” a big ol’ dong” yourself if the general consensus is this album isn’t as good as any of the three good” albums; Sunday Valley, High Top Mountain, or Metamodern Sounds. If I’m an idiot, surely it will be better than one of those old albums right? It’s just one dong. Make no mistake, I am not at all happy at how comfortable I am in taking that bet. I’ve been begging Strugill to prove me wrong (in any genre) for a couple of years now and he, like you, seems far more concerned with telling his supporting fans to huff a dong” than making good music these days.
Wow, Sturgill himself could’t have been more needlessly abrasive in response to the unfortunate truth from a fan desperately looking for a reason to remain supportive. Huff a dong” probably wouldn’t be necessary if there were dozens of amazing new songs lying around to cite but, I digress.
Should Sturgill be considered country”? That’s a murky question, but much like Tyler Childers I will support artists who do their own thing, even if it might not be my favorite.
Personally, I am extremely excited. Like a lot of people, I appreciate the blues, psychedelia and hard rock along with country. Sturgill grew up listening to all kinds of music, he knows his way around different styles, and has a unique ability to combine those styles. His next album will probably be country, possibly bluegrass. Let’s just enjoy this one for what it is.
Strip away the distortion and the defiant “Last Man Standing” could be the kind of country rocker that makes you drive too fast and sing along off-key; “Mercury in Retrograde” is a dancy track that starts with a tale about a haircut in Norway before Simpson sets his sights on glad-handing wannabe friends and the haters who want to be in his band. When he sings that the tour is almost over and he will be home soon, you can almost feel his relief.
Go listen to Sunday Valley he’s always been a rocker, he never claimed to want to save country music. He actually derided comments that he was the savior of country music.
In your ear buds, Sturgill Simpson’s new album is a drag. In person, it’s a triumph. CORRECTION: The headline in this story was updated to correct the spelling of Sturgill Simpson’s name.
Go listen to Sunday Valley and you’d know Sturgill Simpson has been a rocker from day one. Nobody ever has to watch the videos for songs. The album will stand on its own. You don’t need to watch the anime movie.