Ryan Adams is gearing up to release his new album Prisoner, and he’s already shared the organ-heavy rocker “Do You Still Love Me?” and the lonely strummer “To Be Without You.” If you’re an Australian fan, maybe you’ve even heard the entire album, but the rest of us are still eyeing that February 17 release date with increasing excitement.
In the meantime, Adams has given us a couple other releases to anticipate — namely Liz Phair’s forthcoming double album that’s a return to her Guyville sound, and a new record from Jenny Lewis — that also sounds amazing — and that he gave the highest praise to in a new interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1. He compared her to Bob Dylan:
“I just finished doing some demos which sound really full on, but some early recordings with Jenny Lewis — she has amassed an incredible arsenal of songs for her new record and I think she’s still on the search but she’s close,” Adams told Lowe. “It’s unbelievable; it’s really next level. I think it sounds like, if you’re a Jenny Lewis fan, imagine if she wrote Blonde On Blonde or something. It’s super detailed, it’s next level which is crazy.”
He further expanded on the recordings that he’s doing with Phair and how they recaptured the Guyville sound:
“I’m currently working on Liz Phair’s new album which is a double album,” he said. “It’s kind of like stepping back through a portal into the Exit In Guyville area, it took me two minutes to figure it out but I was like, ‘I think this pedal and that pedal will sound like that record,’ and I just hit them and they were on and I went ‘No way!’ so we haven’t touched it. She gets up there and plays, Don Was has been on on bass, the stuff that’s coming off of it is just like wow.”
Aside from his collaborations though, Adams also took a question about the much-sought-after reunion of his old band, Whiskeytown, and surprise surprise, that might actually be happening. From the interview:
“Well I mean maybe. It’s so funny that you mention [Whiskeytown] because there is something going on with that, but it’s still kind of on the down low,” Adams said. “Some of the folks that were in the band, and myself, feel like we have such funny stories to tell about how and in what way all of that happened and it was so funny it happened to US and I think we were all acutely aware, going ‘Wow, not only are we unprepared, but we suck on some level that we’re also aware of, and we were just having fun, so how do you temper that?’ Also being so young and so green to the thing that is the music business. It’s very strange to think that was sort of a side thing we were just trying out and that would’ve been the first sort of trip. I’m funny in the way where I have a dry sense of humor, and I think I’m probably a little bit more sarcastic than people can realize, especially in print, and I once in a humorous sort of way but I sort of meant it, I said ‘Oh i hate country music’ and there were a lot of purists that said, ‘Oh Ryan Adams has forgotten where he came from.’ Ironic baseball hats across America were probably chiming in on some message board somewhere and I thought, ‘yeah but that’s a funny statement to make cause it’s still pretty rooted in what I do — that sort of Grateful Dead, Graham, The Birds — finding those influences. I love the storytelling and I love what it is, but I think it’s been so long now if Whiskeytown were to ever try to make a record, and me carrying on with making the music I made from the beginning, before those sort of side things, it would be weird. It could be weird good but I don’t know. If it was the original lineup. We talk every year, a couple times a year. Everybody’s cool. It’s the same as it ever was.”
That’s a pretty roundabout way of saying “maybe” but I’m gonna hold onto that maybe for dear life. Tune into Beats 1 Radio tomorrow at 9:30 AM PST to hear the full interview.