The Bangles have set a September 13th release date for their first album of new material in nearly eight years.
Sweetheart Of The Sun reveals The Bangles--guitarist/singer Susanna Hoffs, guitarist/singer Vicki Peterson and drummer/singer Debbi Peterson--at their equally beguiling extremes, as soaring folk-rock harmonies coexist with adrenalized rave-ups inspired by the band's roots in Nuggets-era garage rock.
"As we were finishing the record," says Vicki, "we started to realize there was a unifying theme--paradise lost in Southern California, the perception juxtaposed with the reality of it." Susanna picks up the thought: "L.A. is like paradise--the sun shines 360 days a year, the flowers are always in bloom--but meanwhile, so many people are walking around alienated, depressed and anxious."
Some of the 10 original songs on this 12-song album are new, while others had extremely long gestation periods, tucked away, but not forgotten, as Susanna puts it. The oldest, dating back to the early '90s, is Debbi's high-revving aggro kiss-off "Ball N Chain"; while the three of them jointly came up with the newest song, the shimmering opening track "Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)," during the recording sessions.
"I think it's important for all of us to keep moving on and creating," says Debbi. "Because that's why we got into this in the first place."
Sweetheart Of The Sun was recorded by Matthew Sweet (Susanna's frequent collaborator) at his home studio in the Hollywood Hills, with much of the overdubbing done at the home studios of Vicki and Susanna, and mixed by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco). The Bangles cut the album with bassist Derrick Anderson and keyboard player Greg "Harpo" Hilfman, both of whom have been playing with the band for some time. String wizard Greg Leisz, one of the most in-demand players in contemporary music (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Matthew Sweet, Lucinda Williams, Bon Iver) adds pedal steel, lap steel and mandolin to a number of tracks.
Annalee (Sweetheart Of The Sun)
Lay Yourself Down
Under A Cloud
I Will Never Be Through With You
Through Your Eyes
Ball & Chain
One Of Two
What A Life
Circles In The Sky
Sweet And Tender Romance
Open My Eyes