Paul Kelly to release a 'normal' album this August
Paul Kelly has been incredibly active in recent years, but all his most recent projects have been a little out of leftfield.
There was the song cycle of Spring and Fall, the poetic Conversations with Ghosts, the guest-heavy Merri Soul Sessions, the Shakespearean Seven Sonnets & A Song, the live album with Neil Finn, Goin' Your Way, and Death’s Dateless Night, his album of funeral songs.
But this August, Paul Kelly is doing something he hasn’t done in a while. He’s releasing a good old fashioned Paul Kelly album.
“I guess it’s as close to a normal record as I’ll get,” Paul Kelly says of his new record.
It’s called Life Is Fine and it will be out on Friday 11 August.
The first single from it, ‘Firewood and Candles’, is out right now. It’s a rollicking jam reminiscent of Kelly’s most lively work from the past and, from what Kelly has mentioned today, it’s a good indication of what is to come on the rest of the record.
“It’s an upbeat, colourful, full band record. Lots of rock’n’roll elements,” he says. “It harks back to a lot of the records I made in the 80s.”
Given Kelly’s unabashed love of poetry, it comes as little surprise that the title of the record was influenced by a poet. Langston Hughes wrote ‘Life Is Fine’ early in the 20th Century and Kelly was so taken with the piece that he borrowed the lyrics for the album’s title track.
But he admits to some deliberation over naming the album something that, at first glance, seems so positive.
“At first I worried about Life Is Fine as a title, because life is not fine for everyone,” he says. “But I like the original meaning of fine, as in life is a fine thread. We never know what is going to happen the very next minute, or what is just around the corner.”
Kelly promises we’ll get to experience this music live before the year is through.
“We’re going to tour the UK and Europe first, in September. Then straight on to the States and Canada in October, and then around Australia in November,” he says.
Paul Kelly releases Life Is Fine on Friday 11 August.