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Third Man Records Releasing Neil Young's 'A Letter Home'

The new album was recorded on 'ancient electro-mechanical technology'

Neil Young
Pegi Young
January 23, 2014 10:45 AM ET

Neil Young's new album A Letter Home, which he recently described to Rolling Stone as "one one of the lowest-tech experiences I've ever had," will see release via Jack White's Third Man Records. While Young said that the record would be out in March, no official release date has been given yet.

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A message credited to "Homer Grosvenor" was posted on both Young and Third Man's websites yesterday announcing the album, further describing it as "an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever."

Other details regarding A Letter Home are slim, including the extent to which White was involved (a note on Young's Facebook page did debunk rumors that the album was a collection of duets between the two musicians). It seems likely that Young recorded the album on a 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine located at Third Man's Nashville headquarters.

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"There's something that happens with one mic," Young said Tuesday night as he accepted the President's Merit Award from the Producers & Engineers Wing. "When everyone sings into one mic, when everybody plays into the same mic: I've just never been able to do that, with some rare instances like when I record in a recording booth from a 1940s state fair. I got that sound by closing myself into a telephone booth. And I notice, it sounds just like an old record. And I like the sound of old records! I've always loved that."

Originally made in 1947, the Voice-o-Graph is the only public vinyl record recording booth of its kind left in the world. After refurbishing it, Third Man opened the booth on Record Store Day 2013 and now anyone can come in and record up to two minutes of audio that's cut onto a six-inch phonograph disc. Young stopped by Third Man last year where he recorded a cover of Bert Jansch's "The Needle of Death" on the Voice-o-Graph last year for a special tribute to the acoustic guitar master.

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