The last we heard from outsider pop icon Daniel Johnston, he was preparing to reissue home recordings of classic tracks. That was cool and all, but now, Johnston has announced that he'll be releasing his first album of new material in six years.
The record is called Is and Always Was, and sees Johnston working closely with former Beck and Air collaborator, as well as celebrated solo musician, Jason Falkner. The album apparently marks a change for Johnston, where his usual lo- to mid-fi recordings are replaced with Falkner's very pro-styled studio wizardry. As the press release says, the album "aimed to take the rock and roll symphonies in Daniel's prolific musical brain and deliver fully-realized and professionally produced recorded songs."
Johnston himself simply says, "Everyone needs to take their demos and go back to the studio."
And while you can check out the teaser track "Freedom" over here, Falkner says he did set out to achieve that level of professionalism. "He possesses that rare individuality that makes the listener wonder where this music comes from," he said of Johnston in the release. "It was challenging to make our minds work together but I really found myself immersed in his musical world. It's a unique place to live, that's for sure!"
Is and Always Was is due in stores on October 6 via Johnston's own Eternal Yip Eye Music imprint/High Wire Music. In the meantime, Johnston will finish up a North American tour that includes Canadian stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto.
Is and Always Was:
1. "Mind Movies"
2. "Fake Records Of Rock And Roll"
3. "Queenie The Doggie"
4. "High Horse"
5. "Without You"
6. "I Had Lost My Mind"
9. "Is And Always Was"
10. "Lost In My Infinite Memory"
11. "Light Of Day"
9/3 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
9/4 Seattle, WA - Neumos
9/5 Vancouver, BC - The Venue
9/7 Calgary, AB - Knox United Church
9/8 Edmonton, AB - Meyer Horowitz Theatre
10/2 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
10/13 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10/14 New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
10/15 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
10/16 Montreal, PQ - UK Fed
10/17 Toronto, ON - Mod Club
10/22 San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
10/23 San Diego, CA - Caines
10/24 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre