Sage Francis Enlists Califone, Jason Lytle, Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous and More Indie Rock Collaborators for New LP

Sage Francis Enlists Califone, Jason Lytle, Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous and More Indie Rock Collaborators for New LP
Lil Wayne's hip-hop/rock crossover album may not have gone as smoothly as planned, but that hasn't deterred Sage Francis from taking on a genre-mashing project of his own. The Providence, Rhode Island-based rapper is currently gearing up to release his fourth album, Li(f)e, which features collaborations with a variety of indie rock stars.

Among the contributors is former Grandaddy front-man Jason Lytle, who apparently wrote an epic instrumental jam for Francis to rap over. The result is "Little Houdini," a song described in a press release as "a stirring, Steinbeck-imbued tale of prison break."

Other collaborators include Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, Tim Fite, Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, DeVotchKa and members of Calexico. Francis will also be joined by producer Brian Beck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse) and members of Califone, who will act as his backing band.

"We specifically sought out songwriters who had never worked with a rapper," Francis said in a statement.

As usual, Francis will be tackling heavy themes with his lyrics, such as "a culture of rampant hypocrisy and, in particular, organized religion." Of the title, the rapper said, "What about life is a lie? What we're told about God is a lie. What we're told about race, gender roles, beauty, war, food, drugs, sexuality, capitalism, history, the nature of humankind...a gang of lies. I feel it in my gut, I think it in my brain, I write it with my hands and I speak it with my mouth. That's what makes Li(f)e the general theme of this album."

Li(f)e also happens to be a slogan on a gimmick T-shirt.

Expect the album to drop via Anti- on May 11.