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09.11.2021 | 11:08

DUQUETTE JOHNSTON kündigt drittes Album an | „The Social Animals“ erscheint am 25. Februar via Felte | Video zur neuen Single „Year To Run“ jetzt online |

Seit mehr als zwanzig Jahren gehört DUQUETTE JOHNSTON zur Avantgarde von Alabamas Musikszene. Von der Gründung der bahnbrechenden Indie-Rockband Verbena, seiner Arbeit mit Cutgrass und den Gum Creek Killers, bis hin zu seinen hochgelobten Solo-Veröffentlichungen „Etowah“ und „Rabbit Runs A Destiny“. JOHNSTON hat immer wieder die Grenzen dessen verschoben wie Musik aus dem Süden der USA klingen und sich anfühlen kann. Auf „The Social Animals“ arbeitete JOHNSTON mit dem Produzenten John Agnello und einem All-Star-Ensemble zusammen, unter anderem mit dem Sonic Youth Schlagzeuger Steve Shelley. Das aktuelle Album ist JOHNSTONs bisher kühnste und kraftvollste Veröffentlichung.

In seiner Karriere, die ihn von Bühnen mit Pavement, Foo Fighters und The Strokes, in die Justizvollzugsanstalt Etowah County und dann in die Welt der Mode mit seinem in Birmingham ansässigen Unternehmen Club Duquette führte, ist JOHNSTON bis ans Ende gegangen und hat überlebt. Auf „The Social Animals“ öffnet er die Tür zu dieser Erfahrung. Das Album ist ein elf Song langer üppiger, lauter und eloquenter Bericht über die menschlichen Erfahrungen.

Gleichzeitig mit der Album-Ankündigung teilt DUQUETTE JOHNSTON die neue Single/Video „Year To Run”.
DUQUETTE JOHNSTON kündigt drittes Album an | „The Social Animals“ erscheint am 25. Februar via Felte | Video zur neuen Single „Year To Run“ jetzt online |

In 2014, DUQUETTE JOHNSTON and his artist wife Morgan had their first child, after many years together. But their joy became complicated, as Morgan fell ill with a bacterial infection and nearly died. When DUQUETTE, who'd been gearing up to promote his third solo album, stepped away from the music business to take care of his wife, it was the beginning of an unexpected new chapter in his life. And at first, one full of uncertainty. Fortunately, he'd just landed a song placement in a TV spot for University of Virginia Children's Hospital, appropriately enough with a cover of Delaney & Bonnie's “Never Ending Song Of Love.”

„I'd stopped everything in my life at that point, so that commercial was like a little nest egg for us,” DUQUETTE says. „I was just taking care of my son, and taking care of my wife, trying to get her back to being the best woman she could be. In the middle of that, I started writing songs. It was a slow process, but I wrote constantly. All I had was my wife, my son and my guitar.”

The result of all JOHNSTON's expanded creativity now takes shape in „The Social Animals", a new album that reverberates with hopefulness and an awe for the mysteries of our dandelion existence. „I was holding on for one more year to run / so I started closing eyes and seeing sun,” JOHNSTON sings on opener „Year To Run.” That song, „Whiskey And Wine” and „Baby Loves A Mystery” quickly establish the record's palette of spiraling guitars and deep cavernous beats wrapped around Johnston's airy, yearning voice. It's a lush, inviting sound, with echoes of both On The Beach-era Neil Young and '80s spectral pop like The Church and Cocteau Twins. Other standout tracks include the slowburn swoon of „Motorcycles,” the dream-weaving lift of „Mystics” („We are family, it's all I need. . .”) and the anthemic, lighters-aloft closer „Tonight.”

Though the album has been finished since 2017, JOHNSTON says, „I don't think it was supposed to come out back then. I don't think the meaning behind some of the songs mattered as much as they do now. That song „Tonight“ is a good example. The chorus was like a chant I wanted to scream at the world, „Tonight, tonight, tonight, it's gonna be all right.“ We need to come together, we need to have love for each other. Now, over the last several years with the extreme political BS and COVID and the lack of caring on some people's parts, to me, the song is more powerful.

His latest release „The Social Animals“ features a core band of Steve Shelley (drums), Emil Amos (bass), David Swatzell (guitar) and Seth Brown (keys), and teams JOHNSTON with acclaimed producer John Agnello (Waxahatchee, Hop Along). “John Agnello got what I was trying to do, and he took the sound to a completely outerwordly place,” DUQUETTE says. „I'm really into mysticism and ancient symbolism and all these different things, and sonically, I hear things as I see them. For inspiration, I listened to a ton of jazz stuff like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and especially Kamasi Washington, and those guys talk about getting lost in their songs. And also there being space for things to happen. I love that.”
 

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