Tuesday, February 4, 2020
– Lucinda Williams announced today she would release "Good Souls Better Angels" (Highway 20/Thirty Tigers) on April 24.
The disc reunites her with producer Ray Kennedy, who last worked with Williams on her 1998 landmark album "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road."
Williams tackles human, social and political issues on the new release. "Because of all this crap that's going on, it's on the top of everybody's minds - it's all anybody talks about: Basically, the world's falling apart - it's like the apocalypse. That's where that Old Testament stuff comes from. It's different from my other albums in that there aren't the story songs about my childhood and all. It feels exciting."
In 2014 and 2015, Williams released two double albums back to back with "Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone" and "The Ghosts Of Highway 20." She experimented with arrangements, vocals, song structure and personal subject matter on both releases.
On "Good Souls Better Angels," Williams abandons the personal and narrative-based songcraft and speaks to some of the injustices permeating our society, including domestic abuse ("Wakin' Up"), the constant barrage of news ("Bad News Blues"), the negative aspects of social media ("Shadows & Doubts) and the haunting reality of the "Man Without A Soul."
Williams was backed by her band, featuring Butch Norton (drums), Stuart Mathis (guitar) and David Sutton (bass).
The release marked the first time Williams' husband/manager Tom Overby is credited as a co-writer on many of the new songs. The album was co-produced by Williams, Overby and Kennedy. They cut most of the songs in two or three takes.
"It just happened organically," said Williams. "Tom and I started working on songs together and he came up with some of the ideas. He gave me lines that he'd written and I took it from there. I love it because it expands things. 'Man Without a Soul' was his idea, and he came up with 'Big Black Train,' about that big black cloud of depression. When I listen to that track, it makes me cry."