Billy Strings recently announced that his new album Renewal will hit shelves on September 24. This album will follow his Grammy-winning 2019 release Home. However, it sounds like Strings is looking to tread some new musical ground with Renewal.
According to a press release, Billy Strings is showing a new perspective through his songwriting on the upcoming record with a more personal and honest songwriting style. Additionally, Renewal will step further away from the bluegrass format than his previous releases.
Fans of Billy Strings have watched him experiment with different sounds over the last year. It seems as though the pandemic and all of the downtime only fueled Strings’ creativity. In recent months, he collaborated with country music chart-topper Luke Combs as well as rapper RMR.
His influences are as eclectic as his collaborations and he will bring those influences to Renewal. The record will feature elements of classic rock, metal, psychedelic music, and more. All of that will build on his previously laid foundation of lightning-fast bluegrass flatpicking.
Billy Strings released the first single from the upcoming record on Friday. Check out “Fireline,” below. You’ll see that Strings isn’t stepping too far away from his roots on this one.
Billy Strings’ Developing Sound
Those who have been fans of Billy Strings for any amount of time have come to expect an eclectic mixture of sounds. Sure, he plays classic bluegrass with the best of them. He has years of experience with as well as a deep love and respect for the genre. However, Strings has never been a one-trick pony.
His previous albums aren’t straightforward bluegrass records. There has always been a subtle heaviness to his music which doubtlessly came from his time as a metal guitarist. At the same time, his live performances put his love for jam bands and psychedelic music front and center. The band does so through long jam session versions of songs like “Meet Me at the Creek,” as well as covers of Grateful Dead songs. So, this record may not sound like the others, but it will be a continuation of the development of his unique sound.
About the new sound on the new record, Strings said, “A lot of people call us a bluegrass band and I don’t even know if that’s what we are anymore. You’ve got to let the song do its thing. So that’s what I try to do—write songs and let them come out however they do.”
Renewal will feature Billy Strings’ usual band of Royal Masat, Billy Failing, and Jarrod Walker. There are also some guest musicians. The album will feature extra fiddle and banjo. More interestingly, a synth player and steel guitarist are also on the list of guest musicians.
The new record is already shaping up to be an interesting one. You can preorder your copy now through Rounder Records. Billy Strings is also touring the United States right now. Check his website and get your tickets.