EXCLUSIVE: Verve's Ashcroft Premieres Solo Song

110301-richard-ashcroft.png
Richard Ashcroft
WRITTEN BY
Vann Alexandra

On-again, off-again Britpop outfit the Verve broke up, for the third time, in 2009, following their excellent comeback album Forth. Bummer. But the split is bittersweet: The band's talented frontman Richard Ashcroft has seized the opportunity to release a genre-blending solo album under the nom de tune United Nations of Sound!

Richard Ashcroft -- his collabo with hip-hop producer No I.D. (Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake) -- drops March 22, but SPIN scored an exclusive sneak peek with the premiere of "America." Listen below!

The track mixes synths and electric guitar flourishes with a pumping hip-hop beat and swelling strings courtesy of arranger Benjamin Wright (Gladys Knight, Barry White). While the music veers into new territory for Ashcroft, his lyrics maintain a mystical world-weariness. "For all the men who ever died / Trying to keep my soul alive," he sings in a nicotine-stained tone grittier than his most famous vocal performance in "Bittersweet Symphony."

"We built a great atmosphere early on," Ashcroft tells SPIN of the song. "No I.D. put a fantastic tribal loop on it. I built up a big monk-like chant with some whistles to give it some Morricone flavor. Benjamin took it to a whole new level with the strings. Some of America's best helped make it. The voice is searching for the soul of America. I found some alive and well."

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 KLOË — Grip " 03:24
  • 2 Dead Right! — Rising Tide (Saint Motel Remix) " 03:17
  • 3 The-Dream — Fruition " 04:33
  • 4 A. G. Cook — What I Mean " 04:06
  • 5 Howardian — Be Fruitful " 02:03
  • 6 The Suffers — Make Some Room " 04:34
  • 7 Adventures — Your Sweetness " 04:10

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA