Everything We Know About the Avett Brothers’ New Album, ‘Closer Than Together’
The Avett Brothers have officially shared the news that they have a brand-new studio album in the works, and according to a mission statement penned by bandmate Seth Avett, the new project grapples with the group's personal responses to a turbulent news cycle while avoiding outright social commentary.
"My brother and I have never been more aware of our own failings in the department of golden-rule navigation. We see it in ourselves and we are accustomed to seeing it in our neighborhood, our state, our country, our planet," he writes. "We speak daily with each other about the lunacy of the world in which we live...the beauty of it, the mystery of it, the hilarity and the unspeakable calamity of it. We talk about God and community and evil and what forgiveness is and what it means to aim for unconditional love in a land (and body) full of conditions."
In this way, Avett continues, the new album is deeply personal to the band, but also addresses the way they see the world more generally. Read on to learn everything we know about the new record from the Avett Brothers.
On Thursday (June 13), the Avett Brothers shared via a post on Instagram that their new record will be called Closer Than Together.
The Release Date
Closer Than Together is due to drop on Oct. 4, 2019.
The Record Label
The group's new project will come out via American/Republic, both of which the band has previously partnered with for multiple studio albums.
The Avett Brothers haven't yet shared who produced their forthcoming record. The Boot will update this section when they do.
The Album Cover
On Aug. 15, the Avett Brothers revealed Closer Than Together's album cover art during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The image depicts the bandmates profiles, with the upper half of their faces colored in black and beige tones. The lower half of their faces are colored in the same tones, but as a negative version.
The Avett Brothers shared the first taste of the new project, "High Steppin'," on June 13. A free-wheeling, feel-good song with grim undertones, the track weighs all of life's minor gambles -- and the consequences they can bring.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, who premiered the song, the group's Scott Avett explains that "High Steppin'" began as a traditional country tune, and gradually morphed into something more thematically complex. In its finished state, the track dances between a carefree, colorful beat and dark subject matter -- represented, in its music video, by a sunny ride through the countryside with an anthropomorphized Death character riding shotgun.
“I’ve always loved a contrast, if it’s colors or if it’s themes, if it’s sound. Something that is sort of fatal, or critical, or just massively stressful contrasted with … more of a playful sound,” Avett relates.
The group hasn't shared a full track list yet, but their Instagram announcement reveals that the songs on Closer Than Together will braid personal narrative and universal experience. While they didn't intend to create a project full of political commentary, the Avett Brothers say, the album does deal with the personal experience of processing turbulent times.
During their Jimmy Kimmel Live! performance on Aug. 15, the group performed a live rendition of a new song off the album, called "Trouble Letting Go." The band also teased more new music on its way in the weeks to come.
"We didn't make a record that was meant to comment on the sociopolitical landscape that we live in. We did, however, make an album that is obviously informed by what is happening now on a grander scale all around us," the group's Seth Avett writes. "Because we are a part of it and it is a part of us. 'Closer Than Together' is a record of obvious American origin -- a creation that fittingly could only come about through hard work, measured freedom, awe-inspiring landscapes and perfectly flawed individualism.
"The Avett Brothers will probably never make a sociopolitical record," he adds, "but if we did, it might sound something like this."
While the Avett Brothers haven't yet announced a tour specifically surrounding the new project, the group is, as always, facing a busy schedule of upcoming performances. Ahead, they will play three sold-out shows at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre before hitting the stage at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 14.
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