Back in January, Neil Young publicly denied that he was working on an album of duets with Jack White, writing on Facebook that the “rumors [had] no basis in truth.” But the iconic singer-songwriter didn’t deny working with White at all, and now he’s opening up a little more. In a recent interview with Billboard, Young confirmed that White plays on two songs that will appear on Young’s upcoming album, A Letter Home.
The 68-year-old rock legend also slightly adjusted the LP’s tentative release date, saying that the record will be out “very soon,” most likely in the spring. Young had previously said that A Letter Home, recorded at White’s Third Man Records in Nashville, would arrive this month.
“It’s not ready for prime time yet,” Young told Billboard. “It’s not really a release yet, but it’s a very unique record. It’s like a time capsule. It doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard that was made recently. And some great songs, some beautiful music.”
A Letter Home finds Young covering material by some of his favorite songwriters. He didn’t offer much in the way of details, but did say, “They’re songs that I love, songs that changed my life, songs that made it so that I understood what someone else was saying to me, songs by greater writers.”
Young also discussed his plans for other forthcoming projects. “I’d like to make a record with a full-blown orchestra, live — a mono recording with one mic,” he said. “I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that’s a challenge and it’s a sound that’s unbelievable, and you can’t get it any other way. So I’m into doing that.”
The guitar god is also working on another memoir titled Special Deluxe, due out later this year. According to Young, unlike 2012’s Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream, the new title “focuses on my life as regards to my transportation, as regards to my love for cars. So it’s a history through automobiles, and it’s a history of automobiles and it’s a history of the environmental impact of automobiles. And it’s a projection into the future of automobiles. It has it’s own agenda that develops over the book.”
All of this productivity comes amid PonoMusic, Young’s new listening device and streaming service, both of which are targeted toward audiophiles. The tech venture (eloquently described by Young as an alternative to digital “shit”) saw its Kickstarter campaign launch earlier this week. The fundraising effort has already raised more than $2 million, more than double its original goal of $800,000 — and there are still 33 days left to donate. Pono is expected to begin production in late summer and become available to supporters in October.