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Black Lips Borrow Black Key for Rootsy March Album ‘Underneath the Rainbow’

Black Lips, 'Underneath the Rainbow,' Black Keys, Patrick Carney, Dap Kings, Tommy Brenneck

Black Lips have been threatening an album with a Black Keys-man for a while, and now it’s official. The Atlanta garage-psych hellions — and former SPIN cover stars — will release Underneath the Rainbow on March 18 via usual label home Vice Records, and it will include production work from the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. Next up, Black Dice? Just hold the Black Crowes.

The 12-song set, the follow-up to 2011’s mighty fine Arabia Mountain, will deliver several songs recorded with Carney in Nashville. Black Lips laid down other tracks with Dap-Kings music director and Budos Band member Thomas Brenneck at New York’s Dunham Studios. Longtime Lips recording collaborator Ed Rawls also co-produced a pair of tracks. Jimmy Douglass, last heard lending sparkle to Blood Orange’s excellent Cupid Deluxe, did the mixing.

As for the style of Black Lips’ seventh studio album, bassist Jared Swilley told Rolling Stone, “It’s roots music.” The Track “Boys in the Wood” reportedly salutes Lynyrd Skynrd and being from Atlanta. “Smiling,” Swilley said, is “about how going to jail sucks, because the fluorescent lights make it hard to sleep, and you have to share five cigarettes with 10 other guys all ducking in a corner smoking cigarettes.” Wait, when he went to jail he got to have cigarettes?

Mastodon guitarist Bret Hinds played guitar and pedal steel during the recording sessions, and some of Brenneck’s Daptone colleagues laid down horn parts, according to a previous RS report. Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox was in the running to appear on the album but didn’t make it in to record, Swilley said. As ever with Black Lips, it’s hard to tell with 100 percent certainty how much of the above might be some kind of practical joke.

Underneath the Rainbow track list:

1. “Drive By Buddy”
2. “Smiling”
3. “Make You Mine”
4. “Funny”
5. “Dorner Party”
6. “Justice After All”
7. “Boys in the Wood”
8. “Waiting”
9. “Do the Vibrate”
10. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
11. “Dandelion Dust”
12. “Dog Years”