Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop have released a video which tells the story behind their new album Love Letter For Fire due for releases worldwide on April 15th via sub-pop. Sam reveals that the project was borne out of a love for classic duets he grew up listening to on the radio. Whilst Sam is no stranger to collaborations (check our review of Sing into My Mouth with Ben Bridwell) this is the first time he has shared songwriting responsibilities on an album.
“Some of my favorite songs are duets, because the narrative is expanded. It’s not just a monologue. It’s a conversation, and so it gets complicated. I had melodies over the years that I’d been compiling that I thought, this sounds like a classic Kenny and Dolly, ‘Islands in the Stream’ kind of thing, or George and Tammy”.
Despite those country references this is not a country album. Instead we’re promised a range from disparate pop to introspective folk and at the helm guiding proceedings is none other than Tucker Martine. They keep the standards high with a handpicked band that includes Rob Burger, a frequent Iron & Wine contributor, Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple), Teddy Rankin-Parker (Primus), Eyvind Kang (Decemberists/Tzadik and Ipecac labels) and Glenn Kotche (Wilco).
In our interview with Sam Beam last year (read it here) he explained how with his project with Ben Bridwell their ‘friendship and history made it more sensible to go back to songs we listened to and loved and try to interpret them.’ With Love Letter for Fire this is a completely new experience, whilst the prospect of sharing songwriting responsibilities may have appeared daunting, their own unique styles seem to have won the day by complimenting and balancing each-others strengths as Sam explained – “(Jesca) brought a lot of energy and a lot of heart in places where I would be cerebral, she would bring heart. In places where I would be steady, she would add an exclamation point.”
It’s one we’re certainly looking forward to.
Released April 15th via sub-pop
Available for pre-order via Amazon (CD / Vinyl / Digital)