Album of the Month (June 2016): The Avett Brothers, ‘True Sadness’
The Avett Brothers' fans have been eager for new music since 2013, and they'll (finally) get it at the end of June: True Sadness, the group's ninth studio album, is set for release on June 24 -- and, per readers' votes, is The Boot's June 2016 Album of the Month.
On March 14, the Avetts first officially announced True Sadness, in a letter from Seth Avett, posted on their website, in which the artist calls the new project “a patchwork quilt, both thematically and stylistically.”
“Wherein a myriad of contrasting fabrics make perfect sense on the same plane, this album draws upon countless resources from its writers and performers,” Avett writes. “… Sonically, the album is as multidimensional as its makers. The same could be said of its long list of influences.
“… There are moments of undeniable celebration and camaraderie, others of quiet and lonely exhalation. Throughout the album, we stitched together the boldest red and the calmest green, polka dots and stripes, the roughest denim and the smoothest velveteen,” he continues. “… We made this record as people who have made records together before — with experienced hands, appreciative hearts, renewed focus and the knowledge of our good fortune to make music once again.”
“Scott [Avett] had these lyrics and had this idea in his head, and he sang it — he was just singing it for Seth. And he sang the bass line — he had this bass line in his head — he sang the bass line for him, and that was literally, it was just kind of like smoke in a bottle,” bassist Bob Crawford recalls. “It was just a moment of complete inspiration; it was one of these moments when the song kind of comes together in one second. That was the genesis for the vibe and for basically what became that song.”
The bass line, indeed, stands out and is crucial to the energetic, “stick it to the man”-type vibe of the song.
“I feel like “Ain’t No Man,” kind of, there is a higher level to it. I’m trying to avoid the word ‘religion’ and ‘spiritual,’ but there is something about finding your place in the universe, or being able to put your finger on where you sit in this life, whatever your religion is or your worldview is,” Crawford continues. “I feel like if you take the catalog of songs that we have from 2001 to the past 15 years, there is this, this song is almost like the star on top of the tree in a way.”
"I think this was — every record we’ve done since [2009's] I and Love and You, the process has gotten more enjoyable, and that may be because we’re just getting so familiar with each other and familiar with [producer] Rick [Rubin], and we’re happy to do it, we’re lucky to do it, and I think that whole vibe and atmosphere, it get on the recording," Crawford tells The Boot. "I hope it gets — I’d like to say “onto the tapes” — I hope it gets gets into the Pro Tools, and that it can be picked up by the listener.
The Avetts earned the June 2016 Album of the Month title by garnering 56 percent of votes. Other new releases in the running included Maren Morris‘ debut disc, Hero, Little Big Town‘s Pharrell Williams-produced Wanderlust, LoCash‘s The Fighters and Jack Ingram's Midnight Motel.
True Sadness is available for pre-order through the Avett Brothers' official website. In support of the disc, the band is currently on tour; on June 5, they will perform, for the fifth time, at Mountain Jam 2016. In late October, they will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
The Avett Brothers, True Sadness Track Listing:
1. "Ain’t No Man"
2. "Mama, I Don’t Believe"
3. "No Hard Feelings"
5. "You Are Mine"
6. "Satan Pulls the Strings"
7. "True Sadness"
8. "I Wish I Was"
9. "Fisher Road to Hollywood"
10. "Victims of Life"
11. "Divorce Separation Blues"
12. "May It Last"
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