Morrissey has announced that his new album, Bonfire of Teenagers, will no longer be released in February by Capitol Records, as he’d previously revealed on Oct. 29. In a post titled “Bonfire Unlit” featuring the album’s front and back cover art, he wrote, “Bonfire of Teenagers is no longer scheduled for a February release, as stated by this site. Its fate is exclusively in the hands of Capitol Records.”
SPIN had reached out to a Capitol spokesperson for further comment.
The project has been largely completed for a year-and-a-half following a flurry of sessions at producer Andrew Watt’s Beverly Hills, Calif., studio, backed by his core band of session collaborators Josh Klinghoffer and Chad Smith. Smith’s Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmate Flea and longtime Morrissey band member Jesse Tobias also play on Bonfire, while Iggy Pop and Miley Cyrus contribute guest vocals on as-yet-unnamed songs. Smith and Klinghoffer also play on Pop’s own new album, Every Loser, produced by Watt and due out Jan. 6.
Morrissey has debuted a number of the 11 Bonfire songs in concerts this year, including “I Am Veronica,” the Smiths-indebted “Rebels Without Applause,” “Sure Enough, the Telephone Rings,” “I Live in Oblivion,” “Kerouac’s Crack,” and, most recently, “Saint in a Stained Glass Window.”
Beyond those, the title track doesn’t mince words about the deadly 2017 bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert in Morrissey’s Manchester, U.K., hometown, calling out the celebrity “morons” who sang Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” at a subsequent charity concert. The attack was carried out by an Islamist extremist, and the repeated lyric “go easy on the killer” has been seen as a dig at those unwilling to demand answers about what motivates these violent incidents. The song has already inspired debate as to the insensitivity of Morrissey’s lyrics and prior statements about immigration, about which he’s long been outspoken.
Morrissey is presently on tour in North America, but walked off the stage at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre after just nine songs on Saturday in an incident chalked up only to “unforeseen circumstances.”