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LISTEN: Stream Billy Bragg's New Album
Laurie Tuffrey , March 13th, 2013 11:30

Exclusive first play of Tooth & Nail ahead of its release next week

On Monday, Billy Bragg will be releasing Tooth & Nail (artwork above), his first album of new material in five years, following 2008's Mr Love & Justice - we've got a first listen to the record, which you can stream in its entirety below:

The genesis of the album, says Bragg, was in a tweet that tagged him in 2011: "Getting over break-up by listening to @billybragg, the Sherpa of Heartbreak". Having lost his mother to illness in that same year, and with his 'Sherpa of Heartbreak' guise in mind, Bragg was prompted to take a more wholesale introspective stance to songwriting than before, saying: "Such things force you to take stock, of where you are, what you’ve been doing, but most of all, what you want to do with the time you have left."

The LP was then recorded in California over a five-day session with musician and producer Joe Henry, who had Bragg recording with a group of assembled session pros and singing the vocals in live takes, neither of which were his standard modus operandi. Referring to his 1998 album with Wilco, reissued last year, Bragg says the resulting record is: "stylistically the follow-up to Mermaid Avenue that I never made. [A] rootsy sound drawing on soul, country and folk music influences to explore the ups and downs of relationships that have stood the test of time."

Tooth & Nail is out on Monday, March 18, via Cooking Vinyl. Stay tuned to the site for a longer feature with Bragg in the coming weeks.