“Married to My Hack,” a song from the album Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes – on which a supergroup of musicians have set music to recently rediscovered Bob Dylan lyrics – has come out, and it features Elvis Costello on lead vocals. The track, which lasts a little less than two minutes, features Dylan-esque speak-singing as Costello sings lyrics from the perspective of a man caught in a Venn diagram of mistresses, his jet-set life and his wife (“my hack”). Singer Rhiannon Giddens, who usually plays with Carolina Chocolate Drops, offers soulful backup moans as Costello and the other musicians make a bluesy mess of guitar and drums.
To make Lost on the River, Costello, Giddens, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, Mumford and Sons‘ Marcus Mumford and Dawes member Taylor Goldsmith holed up in the basement studio of Los Angeles’ Capitol Records building to work on orchestrating the lyrics. The artists each took turns singing lead vocals and enlisting the others to serve as their backing band. For one session, Johnny Depp stopped by to fill in for Costello to play guitar on a rendition of “Kansas City.” Producer T Bone Burnett – to whom Dylan had bequeathed the lyrics, which he had been holding onto since 1967 – put the ensemble together and oversaw the sessions.
“What transpired during those two weeks was amazing for all of us,” Burnett said in a statement. “There was a deep well of generosity and support in the studio at all times, which reflected the tremendous trust and generosity shown by Bob in sharing these lyrics with us in the first place.”
“Married to My Hack” is one of the instant-gratification songs that fans who preorder the record will receive, along with “Nothing to It,” which came out in late August. The record is due out November 11th.
Showtime will air a documentary about the making of the album, Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, which filmmaker Sam Jones directed, on November 21st. It will show the making of the record and compare it to Dylan’s original sessions with the Band.
In other Basement Tapes news, the complete recordings of Dylan’s original 1967 sessions are due out as a six-disc, 138-track box set – The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 – on November 4th. Rolling Stone premiered one of the tracks, an alternate take on “Odds and Ends,” which is streaming here.