Singer-songwriter-producer Jonathan Wilson today announced that his new album “Rare Birds” would be out March 2. It’s his first album since 2013’s “Fanfare,” not that the North Carolina native has been slacking: Working out of his Fivestar Studios in Echo Park, he’s produced work for myriad artists, including Father John Misty’s Grammy-nominated album “Pure Comedy,” Conor Oberst’s “Upside Down Mountain” and Karen Elson’s “Double Roses.” And after contributing to Roger Waters’ Grammy-nominated album “Is This the Life We Really Want?,” he has spent substantial time in Waters’ touring band.
While his previous albums were recognized as pillars of Laurel Canyon Sound revivalism, his new single “Over the Midnight” is something else — dreamy and layered and, to use Wilson’s words, “psychedelic gossamer-winged music.” Of his sonic direction, he says calls the new album “maximalist.” “The Neil Young, CSN, Dennis Wilson and Tom Petty comparisons for the first two records were flattering, but I didn’t ever really see it that way myself,” he says, name-checking sonic touchstones such as Talk Talk, Arthur Russell and a “Sleigh Bells-meet-George Harrison kinda thing.” Noting the presence of synths and (gasp) drum machines, he adds: “This album is a hell of a lot more Trevor Horn than anything, you know, Laurel Canyon-related.”
Father John Misty, Lucius, Laraaji and Lana Del Rey appear as guest vocalists, and L.A. fans (a small number of them, anyway) figure to hear some of the new songs this month during his three-night stand at the Moroccan Lounge, billed as “Jonathan Wilson with Band, Friends and Strings.”
||| Stream: “Over the Midnight”
||| Live: Jonathan Wilson performs Dec. 21, 22 and 23 at the Moroccan Lounge. The shows are sold out.