Nels Cline Details Orchestral 'Lovers' Album

BY Gregory AdamsPublished Jun 8, 2016

Wilco guitarist Nels Cline had been hoping to issue a long-planned solo album titled Lovers earlier this year, but his record of "orchestrated ballads" will finally get intimate with your ears this summer. The double LP arrives August 5 through Blue Note.

As previously reported, Cline had been toying with the idea of an orchestrated LP for over twenty years, and eventually ended up putting together the record with producer David Breskin and orchestrator, conductor, trumpeter and producer Michael Leonhart.

The collection mixes original work with Cline's take on the American Songbook, as well as more left-field sources like Sonic Youth and Arto Lindsay's Ambitious Lovers project. All of this is tied together via a general theme "related to the idea of love, intimacy, closeness, sexuality."

"I have been dreaming about, planning, and re-working my rather obsessive idea of this record for well over twenty-five years, and it was always going to be called Lovers," Cline said in a statement. "It is meant to be as personal in its sound and in its song selection as it is universal in its endeavor to assay or map the parameters of 'mood' as it once pertained, and currently pertains, to the peculiar and powerful connection between sound/song and intimacy/romance. In this, I hope Lovers offers something of an update of the 'mood music' idea and ideal, while celebrating and challenging our iconic notion of romance."

In addition to Cline and Leonhart, musicians appearing throughout the record include bass player Devin Hoff (Xiu Xiu), horn player Taylor Haskins, Cline's drummer brother Alex and Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda. You can get the full breakdown of who plays what over here.

Below, you can hear Cline's take on jazz standard "Beautiful Love."


1. Introduction / Diaphanous  
2. Glad To Be Unhappy  
3. Beautiful Love   
4. Hairpin & Hatbox  
5. Cry, Want  
6. Lady Gabor  
7. The Bed We Made  
8. You Noticed  
9. Secret Love
10. I Have Dreamed  
11. Why Was I Born?  
12. Invitation  
13. It Only Has To Happen Once  
14. The Night Porter / Max, Mon Amour   
15. Snare, Girl  
16. So Hard It Hurts / Touching  
17. The Search For Cat  
18. The Bond   

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