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Elvis Costello Goes Americana on New Album


Elvis Costello will visit America’s heartland on his new record, Secret, Profane, & Sugarcane, out June 2 via Hear Music. The album was recorded in three days at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio and was produced by T Bone Burnett, who last worked with Costello on 1989’s Spike. (Burnett also produced this year’s Grammy-winning collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand.)

The majority of the album features new original songs by Costello. But on two Sugarcane tracks — “Sulfur to Sugarcane” and “The Crooked Line” — Burnett shares the songwriting credit. “I Felt The Chill” will feature songwriting contributions from Loretta Lynn, while alt-country mainstay Emmylou Harris lends her pipes to “The Crooked Line.”

And the country music connections don’t stop there: “Hidden Shame” and “Boom Chicka Boom” were originally written by Costello for Johnny Cash; Cash’s version of “Hidden Shame” appeared on his 1990 release Boom Chicka Boom.

As for that head-scratcher of an album title?It’s inspired by The Secret Songs, the title of an unfinished opera Costello has been writing for the Royal Danish Opera about the life of 19th century author Hans Christian Anderson. Several songs on the record also draw inspiration from Anderson’s relationship with Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind.

Check out the tracklist below. Then leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Secret, Profane, & Sugarcane tracklist:
1. “Down Among the Wine and Spirits”
2. “Complicated Shadows”
3. “I Felt the Chill”
4. “My All Time Doll”
5. “Hidden Shame”
6. “She Handed Me a Mirror”
7. “I Dreamed of My Old Lover”
8. “How Deep is the Red”
9. “She Was No Good”
10. “Sulfur to Sugarcane”
11. “Red Cotton”
12. “The Crooked Line”
13. “Changing Partners”