Absolute Zero, the new studio album from three-time GRAMMY Award-winning pianist, singer and songwriter Bruce Hornsby is out April 12. The forthcoming album follows the release of 2016’s Rehab Reunion, of which NPR Music raves, “The singer-keyboardist once again hits the sweet spot between joyful improv and immaculate songcraft,” while Relix adds, “Nearly four decades on, Hornsby proves that he’s still got some wonderful tricks up his sleeve.” In advance of the release, the album’s first single, Voyager One, is debuting today. Hornsby calls the song, “Steve Reich meets Prince.”
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Most recently, Aquarium Drunkard spoke with Hornsby about the album and notes, “Hornsby’s new album, Absolute Zero, furthers his commitment to chasing inspiration, no matter what unlikely places he may end up doing so. From the harmony-laced title song to the Steve Reich-ian ‘Fractals’ to the cresting anthem ‘Voyager One,’ the record is defiantly unclassifiable. One gets the sense that's the goal. While many musicians settle into an artistic groove, 33 years removed from his commercial breakthrough, Absolute Zero finds Hornsby exploring sound as boldly as ever.” Listen to the full interview here: https://bit.ly/2T6HCch
The genesis of Absolute Zero began within Hornsby’s work as a film composer for writer-director Spike Lee. Hornsby started collaborating with Lee in 1992; ultimately, in 2008, he began scoring for Lee. What began to intrigue him were scoring components known as “cues,” those comparatively brief passages of music used in films to heighten certain narrative visuals and/or spoken developments. Additionally, Hornsby’s interest in literary fiction, specifically the work of Don DeLillo and the late David Foster Wallace, inspired his songwriting. Hornsby’s songs, both in spirit and memory, function collectively as a homage to fiction writing that, while often poetic, takes no prisoners. The multi-faceted album is another example of Hornsby’s constant musical evolution and how he’s able to combine disparate elements into an accessible soundscape.
LISTEN TO VOYAGER ONE HERE
Predominantly produced by Hornsby, the 10-track album includes added production from Justin Vernon(Bon Iver), Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird, Public Image Ltd.) and Brad Cook (Sharon Van Etten, Hiss Golden Messenger). Absolute Zero also includes musical contributions from yMusic, The Staves, Blake Mills, Jack DeJohnette, Sean Carey, the The Orchestra of St. Hanks (Frost School/Univ. of Miami), Hornsby’s longtime band The Noisemakers and more. The track Cast-Off was co-written with Vernon who also duets with Hornsby on the track while Take You There (Misty) was co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
Based out of Williamsburg, VA, Hornsby first rose to national prominence with The Way It Is, his 1986 Grammy-winning debut album with The Range. The title track became the most-played song on American radio in 1987, winning ASCAP’s Song of the Year award. Hornsby also won Grammys in 1989 for “Best Bluegrass Recording” for his version of The Valley Road—which appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II—and in 1993 for “Best Pop Instrumental Performance,” for his song with Branford Marsalis for the Barcelona Olympics, Barcelona Mona. Additionally, Hornsby was a part-time member of the Grateful Dead from September 1990 to March 1992, performing over 100 concerts in America and Europe. Hornsby has written six full film scores and contributed music to four others including Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It and BlacKkKlansman.
The 13-time Grammy nominee has solidified his status as a highly sought after collaborator. Hornsby’s own 20 albums have sold over 11 million copies worldwide, and Hornsby has appeared on over 100 records including releases with Bob Dylan, Don Henley, the Grateful Dead, Ricky Skaggs, Bob Seger, Chaka Khan, Brandon Flowers, Bonnie Raitt, Sting, Mavis Staples, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson and more.