By Josiah HughesYes, it's April Fool's Day, but the news that Patti Smith has planned a new studio album is one of the few valid stories to hit the web today. The record is called Banga and will be released via Columbia on June 5.
The album marks Smith's first recording of new material since 2004's Trampin', but we wouldn't blame you for thinking this thing is a joke. Aside from a song literally called "April Fool," the album features a birthday song for Johnny Depp called "Nine" and a ballad for Amy Winehouse called "This Is the Girl."
However, the album gets serious with songs about last year's earthquake in Japan, an improvised work that meditates on art and nature, and a song that envisions the Amerigo Vespucci arriving in the New World in 1497.
Banga was recorded at Electric Lady Studios with regular producers Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty and Tony Shanahan. The album also includes appearances from Tom Verlaine, Jack Petruzzelli and Smith's children, Jackson and Jesse Paris.
"April Fool" is available on iTunes now.
1. Amerigo 2. Fuji-san 3. April Fool 4. This is the Girl 5. Banga 6. Maria 7. Tarkovsky (The Second Stop is Jupiter) 8. Mosaic 9. Nine 10. Seneca 11. Constantine's Dream 12. After the Gold Rush