Alice in Chains singer-guitarist Jerry Cantrell has announced his first solo album in 19 years, Brighten.
Along with revealing that Brighten will premiere on Friday, October 29th, Cantrell has also unveiled the album’s first single, ‘Atone’.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Cantrell explained the track has been in his head for “20-plus years”.
“As a fan of Ennio Morricone scores and Sergio Leone movies, [the song’s] got a bit of that outlaw vibe, with a cool psycho hillbilly stomp,” he said.
“It’s been kicking around in my head for like 20-plus years, haunting me. Sometimes it takes a while for a good idea to find its best form. Such was the case with ‘Atone.’”
The new album features an extensive roster of backing musicians, including Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), Gil Sharone (Team Sleep), Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney), Tyler Bates, Michael Rozon, Vincent Jones, Jordan Lewis, Lola Bates, and Matias Ambrogi-Torres.
“It was like an old school ’70s record where a multitude of musicians played,” Cantrell said regarding the collaboration involved.
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“So it’s not a set band. I got to make music with a bunch of people I never had before, along with friends like Duff, Tyler, and Gil, who I’ve worked with previously.”
The nine-track album concludes with a cover of Elton John’s Goodbye’, which Cantrell revealed he wouldn’t have included “unless [Elton] said it was okay.”
“[Elton] played piano on [Alice in Chains’] ‘Black Gives Way to Blue,’ which I wrote for Layne, so I reached out to [him], he listened to it, and told me ‘You should absolutely use it.’ I got the signoff by the man himself. I couldn’t think of a better way to close the record!”
Brighten serves as Cantrell’s first solo release since 2002’s Degradation Trip, and also follows the 2018 Alice in Chains album Rainier Fog.
3. ‘Prism of Doubt’
4. ‘Black Hearts and Evil Done’
5. ‘Siren Song’
6. ‘Had To Know’
7. ‘Nobody Breaks You’
9. ‘Goodbye’ (Elton John cover)