“Paint the Red Rose Blue” is “the account of someone who has long-courted theatrical darkness, only for its violence and cruelty to become all too real,” Costello said in a statement. “In its wake, a bereft couple learn to love again, painting a melancholy blue over the red of romance.”
Costello has been especially prolific over the pandemic: The Boy Named If, due out Jan. 14, 2022, follows his 2020 studio album, Hey Clockface, and the subsequent French-language EP featuring interpretations of Clockface songs, La Face de Pendule à Coucou, which was released earlier this year. In September, he released an all-Spanish version of 1978 LP This Year’s Model featuring Juanes, Jorge Drexler, Luis Fonsi and more.
“The full title of this record is The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories),” Costello said in a statement. “‘IF,’ is a nickname for your imaginary friend; your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own. You can hear more about this ‘Boy’ in a song of the same name.”
Costello previously released “Magnificent Hurt” from the LP, which “take us from the last days of a bewildered boyhood to that mortifying moment when you are told to stop acting like a child — which for most men (and perhaps a few gals too) can be any time in the next 50 years,” Costello said of the themes of the album.