Dan Wilson Re-Visits His Own Past on ‘When the Stars Come Out’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Dan Wilson is taking on an interesting musical challenge for his new album, Re-Covered. The project finds him reinterpreting songs that he co-wrote with and for other artists, including Chris Stapleton.
Wilson is a veteran of the '90s rock band Semisonic, and he parlayed that into a hugely successful career as a songwriter and producer across genres. He's taking a second look at some of his own best-known songs, as well as lesser-known tracks, on Re-Covered, slanting each familiar song in a very different arrangement than the recordings released by the artists with whom he collaborated. In addition to pop superstars like Adele and John Legend, the album includes fresh takes on songs he wrote with LeAnn Rimes, Taylor Swift, Dierks Bentley and the Dixie Chicks.
One key track is Wilson's new recording of Stapleton's "When the Stars Come Out," which he wrote with Stapleton when the singer visited him in L.A. while he was writing for what would become his breakthrough album, Traveller.
"Chris was in the midst of figuring out what his next album was going to be, but we didn’t really set out to write something for him to record," Wilson shares. "We just got together and wrote a couple of songs. Later I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had cut a version of 'When the Stars,' and then even more pleased when I heard it -- his version is great."
Stapleton was the first to record the song, but he got the idea for writing it from Wilson.
"The idea was Chris’. He told me it was partly inspired by my picking up and moving my family from Minneapolis to LA in 2010," Wilson recalls. "He said, 'We can call it, 'One of those LA nights when the stars come out.'' When Wilson replied that the smog in LA was so bad that he normally couldn't see the stars at night, Stapleton laughingly replied that it was meant as a metaphor.
"Ohhhhh, I get it. So we wrote a song about a night when L.A.’s metaphorical stars come out, and they shine," Wilson says.
Wilson brings an entirely new feel to the song, replacing Stapleton's gritty, country-blues take with an acoustic-driven singer-songwriter vibe. Check out his new recording of "When the Stars Come Out" above, and keep track of his upcoming news via his official website, or by following him on Facebook or Twitter.
Re-Covered is set for release on Aug. 4 via Big Deal Media. It is currently available for pre-order at iTunes and PledgeMusic, while Amazon is offering a pre-order package that includes a physical CD and a deluxe 56-page hardcover book of drawings, essays, lyrics, and songwriting observations. The book contains illustrations and stories from Wilson about each Re-Covered song, along with each song’s lyrics.
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