Pink Floyd bassist and co-founder Roger Waters has shared new insight into his upcoming solo record Is This the Life We Really Want? Despite previous reports, it's now expected to arrive on June 2 in vinyl, CD and digital formats. It goes up for pre-order starting tomorrow (April 21).
It marks Rogers's first proper solo LP in 25 years, following up 1992's Amused to Death, and for the latest endeavour, he enlisted the help of esteemed Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. In addition to production duties, Godrich also contributed arrangements, sound collages, keyboard and guitar to the record; other players on the album include Joey Waronker, Jonathan Wilson, Gus Seffert, Roger Manning, Lee Pardini, Lucius, Jessica Wolfe and Holly Proctor.
According to a press release, and as the album's title suggests, the new 12-song set hears Waters grappling with big questions and providing "unflinching commentary on the modern world and uncertain times." Last year, Waters told Rolling Stone that the LP was "part magic carpet ride, part political rant, part anguish."
He's now revealed that the new album was partly inspired by his aversion to the Trump administration. It also features two or three songs that have been repurposed from a scrapped "dramatic radio play" about a man and his granddaughter investigating why children in other parts of the world were being killed.
"Nigel Godrich persuaded me that for the purposes of a rock'n'roll record, which is what this is, he felt my theatrical idea — I'd written the whole thing as a radio play — was less than ideal," Waters told Rolling Stone.
Furthermore, one track ("Wait for Her") drew inspiration from an English translation of "Lesson from the Kama Sutra (Wait for Her)" by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
The complete tracklisting for Is This the Life We Really Want? has been unveiled, and you can peruse it below.
Later this year, Waters will embark on the previously announced "US + Them Tour" — a spectacle that has been designed around the title of the upcoming album.
"I will be making the point that we're living the life that we don't really want to live," Waters said. "I like to think that people would still like to live in a world where we might address the problems of climate change, where we might understand that if we empathize with others, it makes us feel happier. Maybe we should start looking at happiness indexes rather than if we win and lose. And if we do that, then we may start to understand that the idea of 'us' and 'them' is actually an illusion."
Is This the Life We Really Want?:
1. When We Were Young
2. Déjà Vu
3. The Last Refugee
4. Picture That
5. Broken Bones
6. Is This the Life We Really Want?
7. Bird in a Gale
8. The Most Beautiful Girl
9. Smell the Roses
10. Wait for Her
11. Oceans Apart
12. Part of Me Died