Take a Kentucky-bred country singer, mix in some psychedelic sounds and you get Sturgill Simpson’s latest album.
While his debut album was steeped in traditional honky tonk, ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’ includes elements that are as far as you can get from mainstream country.
“I wanted to incorporate a lot of elements of other music that I grew up listening to,” says the singer-songwriter. “And writing country songs about the Tibetan realm of souls and things like that kind of frees up a lot of sonic landscape to go places that maybe some people will have some trouble grasping,” he adds with a smile.
The album’s title is a nod to Ray Charles' pioneering album 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music', a watershed of country-soul crossover.
Simpson says that while many reviews have focused on the drug references in some of the lyrics, his record is ultimately about love: “Well, there’s one song and one line that talks about certain hallucinogenic mind-altering substances and so far that’s what everybody has latched onto. So I just keep telling everybody that the record is not about drugs. Maybe a little bit about drugs, but not entirely,” he says.
Sturgill Simpson is touring the US and Britain from June.
His new album ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’ is out now.