2016: The Year in Charts

Hear the Avett Brothers' Rick Rubin-Produced New Album 'True Sadness'

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The Avett Brothers

The ninth full-length album from fraternal Americana folksters the Avett Brothers is here. Like the three LPs before it, True Sadness was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. He challenged the North Carolina band to fine-tune each track -- so much, that the Avetts wound up with numerous versions of every song when all was said and done. They’ve always been live stalwarts; it’s in the studio where a mind like Rubin’s can scrape away to new layers in the Avett Brothers’ road-tested sound.

Avett Brothers Announce New Album 'True Sadness' in Letter to Fans

Below, stream True Sadness ahead of its June 24 release date (via NPR). Billboard also spoke with the Avett boys -- Seth and Scott -- about making the new album. Find those quotes below and look out for more in the next issue of Billboard.

Seth Avett, on the studio process:

“When we first got there, my expectation and initial hope was that we were going to sit in a room and go for it live, like it was 1965. And the first thing out of he gate, was Rick started a conversation about how we were going to approach these songs. He felt it was an interesting time for the band, in that we had the freedom to approach them in a radically different way. Basically, we ended up with four different versions of every song.”

Scott Avett, on working with Rick Rubin since 2009's I and Love and You:

"That was the beginning of our professional recording career. In the studio we were longing for something that was broader and bigger. With Rick, he helped us get to that. He’s still a proponent of remembering where we are. Even as you progress, you never forget where you come from. 

On recording vs. touring:

“We’re late bloomers with recording, but if we don’t play live, we can’t play our power bills… We have to play live -- that’s where our language is. We spend more time doing it than anything else.” 

Scott on new song “Wish I Was”: 

"It feels really nice when our records mirror the varying moods and tones in our life. It doesn’t make sense for our records to all have one treatment, because we’re all over the maps with our activity and moods.”

“We trusted that the songs would sort of show themselves. With four different versions, you feel like you’re in line with the guys you’re working with.”