Sturgill Simpson broke down the barriers of country music and broke out with his 2014 album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, and now he's looking to expand once again. After mysteriously changing his Twitter banner and icon earlier this week, on Thursday (March 3), Simpson finally announced his new album A Sailor's Guide to Earth and unveiled its first new song, the ravage "Brace for Impact."
Perhaps the song title is a bit of a warning, because fans expecting another rehash of the psychedelic old school country that made up Metamodern won't find that here. Simpson's heavy-handed with the guitar work takes the lead above a rolling bassline. And while the sludgy instrumentation adds in a much-needed heavy rock element to Simpson's new single, the country comes in through his vocals, which are as homegrown and Southern as ever.
While a natural progression for Simpson, "Brace for Impact" is a bit of a departure for Simpson. And, in an interview with Beats 1's Zane Lowe, he admitted that was not a coincidence.
"I approached the last record, when it was finished I had the feeling it could possibly destroy my career, and it did just the opposite. So, I figured if anything I had to take the same fearlessness into the studio on this one as well. But it's really nothing intentional, it's just where my head and my heart where at the time when we went in to the studio," he said. "I wanted to express a lot of influences outside of country music that I think there's a lot of room to explore in terms of sonic templates in the genre. If there was any intentional approach, I wanted to reverse engineer the song craft this time around. In country music especially, it can get very formulaic."
"Brace for Impact" is set to appear on Simpson's new album A Sailor's Guide to Earth. The album has yet to receive an official release date.