Morrissey has revealed that his previously announced residency in Las Vegas will “showcase” songs from his as-yet-unreleased new album, Bonfire of Teenagers, which has been finished for more than a year. At each of the first four shows on his just-launched U.S. tour, the former Smiths frontman has debuted what he said from the stage is the album’s first single, “I Am Veronica.”
“The thrill of this album was the speed under which it was recorded,” Morrissey wrote today (May 20) on his website. “Considering the knots of grief I had experience[d] at the time, it made Bonfire an incredible achievement for me.”
After releasing his last three albums through BMG, Morrissey remains unsigned and without a label partner for Bonfire of Teenagers, which was produced by former Grammy producer of the year Andrew Watt. Watt enlisted two frequent collaborators and close friends, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and that band’s former guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, to play on the sessions.
In May 2021, Morrissey said the album was complete and “available to the highest (or lowest) bidder,” in reference to his lack of a label deal. He also enthused that it was “the best album of my life.” The recent U.S. shows have seen the return of longtime guitarist/songwriting partner Alain Whyte, who hadn’t toured with Morrissey since 2009. Whyte replaced fellow longtime guitarist Boz Boorer, who was absent for unknown reasons.
The new music has already received a co-sign from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, who also worked with Watt, Smith, and Klinghoffer on his latest solo album, Earthling. Last December, Vedder told a small group of journalists at an Earthling listening session that the Bonfire music “was some of the greatest Morrissey I’d heard since back when it was the greatest Morrissey. This was like solid, great Morrissey, the whole time.”