Following a string of surprise singles, Elvis Costello has announced his upcoming new album Hey Clockface and with it another new track titled “We Are All Cowards Now.”
Hey Clockface — due out October 30th via Concord Records — was recorded in studios in Helsinki, Paris and New York, with the chilly “We Are All Cowards” serving as the “third and final bulletin from ‘The Helsinki Sound'” portion of the LP, following previous singles “No Flag” and “Hetty O’Hara Confidential.”
“The emptiness of arms/The openness of thighs/The pornography of bullets/The promises and prizes can’t disguise,” Costello sings on the chorus. “We are all cowards now.”
The track was accompanied by an animated video, directed by Eamon Singer and Arlo McFurlow, featuring “images of flowers and pistols, smoke and mirrors, tombstones and monuments, courage and cowardice, peace, love and misunderstanding,” Costello added.
The majority of Hey Clockface, created prior to the coronavirus, was recorded at Paris’ Les Studios Saint Germain with an ensemble dubbed “Le Quintette Saint Germain.”
“I sang live on the studio floor, directing from the vocal booth. We cut nine songs in two days,” Costello said in a statement. “We spoke very little. Almost everything the musicians played was a spontaneous response to the song I was singing. I’d had a dream of recording in Paris like this, one day.”
The New York sessions found Costello collaborating with guitarists Bill Frisell and Nils Cline along with producer Michael Lockhart. “I wanted the record to be vivid, whether the songs demanded playing that was loud and jagged or intimate and beautiful,” Costello added of Hey Clockface, which is available to preorder now ahead of its October 30th release date.
Costello last released the Purse EP in 2019, and his album Look Now in 2018.
Hey Clockface Tracklist
1. “Revolution #49”
2. “No Flag”
3. “They’re Not Laughing at Me Now”
4. “Newspaper Pane”
5. “I Do (Zula’s Song)”
6. “We Are All Cowards Now”
7. “Hey Clockface/How Can You Face Me?”
8. “The Whirlwind”
9. “Hetty O’Hara Confidential”
10. “The Last Confession of Vivian Whip”
11. “What Is It That I Need That I Don’t Already Have?”
12. “Radio Is Everything”
13. “I Can’t Say Her Name”