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Cass McCombs and Karen Black Sway Together on Beautiful ‘Brighter’

cass mccombs, big wheel and others, brighter, karen black

Cass McCombs has a reputation for keeping quiet. The mysterious singer-songwriter is famously interview-averse, known for valuing his privacy, and kept a low-profile all throughout 2012, taking a well-deserved respite after 2011’s double helping of the Wit’s End and Humor Risk albums. Now, McCombs has a new LP on the way — the absolute must-hear Big Wheel and Others — and yet another new song to share. Enthusiastically dubbed “Brighter!”, the just-uncovered gem features no singing from McCombs. Instead, the late actress/singer Karen Black provides lead vocals, laying down a transfixing take that lilts and swells in synch with the tune’s dulcet melody. 

Sadly, Black passed away last month, succumbing to cancer at the age of 74. As a tribute, McCombs has dedicated “Brighter!” to her memory. The two worked together previously: Black sang backup on and appeared in the music video for McCombs’ 2009 single “Dreams-Come-True-Girl.”

Stream “Brighter!” below. Cass has also just announced an extensive North American tour — find details below. And for a fuller portrait of the upcoming Big Wheel and Others, check out previously released tracks “Morning Star” and “There Can Only Be One.” 

Cass McCombs tour dates:

November 7 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
November 8 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
November 9 – Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club
November 12 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s
November 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
November 15 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
November 16 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Don Quixote’s
November 18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
November 19 – Denver, CO @ Walnut Room
November 22 – Austin, TX @ The Belmont
December 2 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
December 3 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
December 4 – Toronto, ON @ Great Hall
December 6 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
December 7 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
December 8 – Nashville, TN @ High Watt
December 9 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
December 12 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
December 13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
December 14 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
January 13 – London, U.K. @ Queen Elizabeth Hall