Paul McCartney, Beatle, has been writing and recording his 16th studio album, due out sometime this fall.
Rolling Stone reports that McCartney, who has been traversing the U.S. for the last couple of months on his Out There Tour, has been working on his follow-up to 2012′s Kisses On The Bottom with a cadre of guests, including producers Mark Ronson, Adele hitmaker Paul Epworth, and Giles Martin, son of “fifth Beatle” and producer George Martin.
Radio.com heard several cuts from the still-untitled album last month at New York’s Avatar Studios, where the majority of the tracks played were produced by Ronson and Epworth. The songs featured lush production, while the music was funky yet very rock-driven, heartily nodding to Wings (and, oddly enough, reminding us just a little of Spoon). Overall, the songs were some of the most modern McCartney has made in some time — quite the contrast from the standards covers that comprised Kisses on the Bottom.
The album will also feature the son of a Beatle contemporary, producer Ethan Johns, whose father Glyn Johns worked with The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones. The young Johns has also produced a handful of seminal indie records like Ryan Adams‘ Heartbreaker, the first two Kings Of Leon records, and the last three Laura Marling records. In an interview with RS, Johns said that he and McCartney first started recording a song called “Hosannah” on vintage instruments to analog tape.
“It had an incredible feel,” said Johns of the song, “a really evocative piece of music, a very interesting lyric, and the performance was great. Then we started to experiment with it, and I put a bunch of psychedelic strangeness on it. You have fun. ‘Oh, try this! Do that!’ It’s just very inspiring to be around.”
Johns and McCartney recorded four new songs in total over the three to four weeks they spent in the studio, first at London’s AIR Studios then later at the famous Abbey Road Studios.
“It was revelatory for me, recording Paul in that space having listened to the sound of those Beatles records,” said Johns. “He plugged in his bass, I put a microphone in front of it, walked upstairs into the control room, pushed the fader up, and [that sound] came out of the speakers immediately. I didn’t have to do anything! It was a pretty major light bulb for me. People get so fixated on the equipment and the gear, and those things are important – but ultimately, the bass sound on Revolver is Paul. Paul could be playing anything and he will get that sound.”
– Jeremy D. Larson, Radio.com (Additional reporting by Jillian Mapes, Radio.com)