Bry Webb's Free Will Streaming at The New York Times
The New York Times is premiering an exclusive album stream of Bry Webb's Free Will, out May 20 on Idée Fixe Records. Stream the album here. To celebrate the release, Webb embarks on a tour this week with Sub Pop labelmates Chad VanGaalen and Cousins. Please see below for full tour routing.
The new album is The Constantines frontman's second solo work and comes on the heels of news that Sub Pop will release a vinyl-only reissue of The Constantines' seminal Shine A Light on June 10. Originally released in 2003 and since named one of the top 200 records of the 2000s by Pitchfork and often cited as one of the best Canadian records ever, Shine A Lighthas been out of print on LP since 2007. In addition to his solo tour, Webb will play several dates with The Constantines this summer. Stereogum recently premiered Free Will track "Receive Me," stream the track here.
The new record follows 2012's Provider, which American Songwriter called "unpolished, unpretentious and understanding." The album's 12 songs, including the title track and cuts called "Prove Me Wrong" and "Fletcher," are considerations of responsibility, love, work, desire, art and will written with Webb's two-year-old son in mind. First single "A.M. Blues" can be heard here: http://bit.ly/1mVC1jn. An album trailer for Free Will is available here: http://vimeo.com/88224561.
Free Will was recorded at 6 Nassau Studio in Toronto by Webb and friends including Rich Burnett (lap steel, guitar, vocals), Aaron Goldstein (pedal steel), Anna Ruddick (bass, vocals) and Nathan Lawr (drums). Produced by Jeff McMurrich (Jennifer Castle, Owen Pallett, Sandro Perri) and Webb, the album features guest appearances from the likes of singer Jennifer Castle, pianist Thomas Hammerton and experimental hurdy-gurdy player Ben Grossman.
Of Webb, longtime friend and collaborator Feist says, "I saw him play solo at the Rivoli at one of Jason Collett's songwriter circle nights maybe eight years ago...I felt like I was seeing Bruce Springsteen do Nebraska or Jeff Buckley, or Dylan, but of my own time."
Webb, first entered the public eye as lead singer of The Constantines, who recently announced a reunion tour and reissue of their 2003 classic Shine A Light. After the band's hiatus began in 2010, Webb returned to his one time home of Guelph and began work on Provider, released in 2012 by Idée Fixe. Webb's artistic endeavors as a solo artist have also included an original song commissioned for "This American Life" and a collaboration with longtime friend Feist on her album Metals as well as scoring the film This Beautiful City, for which his song "Big Smoke" received a Genie Award nomination. Webb has also worked on scoring the Discovery Channel Series "The National Parks Project" with Jim Guthrie, Sarah Harmer and filmmaker Scott Smith.