Bruce Springsteen released the road trip lyric video for “Hello Sunshine” on Thursday night (April 25), the first taste of the rock icon’s upcoming studio album Western Stars (June 14). After teasing that the 13-track collection is a “return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements,” Springsteen delivers on all those touchstones with “Sunshine.”
The four-minute, mid-tempo ballad features Springsteen’s melancholy vocals over a quickly strummed acoustic guitar, with a repeating piano figure coming in as the song’s chorus is introduced with a touch of pedal steel guitar. “You know I always liked my walking shoes/ But you can get a little too fond of the blues/ You walk too far you walk away/ Hello sunshine won’t you stay,” Springsteen sings in the lyric video, which features images of a classic El Camino with Jersey plates rolling along a desert highway at dusk.
The tune about endless drives on empty roads touches on many of the themes Springsteen has promised for the album, including the orchestral majesty of Burt Bacharach’s most beloved pop classics, the singer-songwriter feel of his previous solo albums such as Tunnel of Love and the lonesome cowboy vibe of Glen Campbell’s most beloved tunes.
All 13 tracks were on Western Stars were written by Springsteen, who described them as “encompass[ing] a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope.” The album was co-produced by Springsteen with Ron Aniello, who also produced the artist’s last two studio albums, 2012’s Wrecking Ball and 2014’s High Hopes. Patti Scialfa, a long-time member of Springsteen’s E Street Band who has been married to Springsteen since 1991, provided vocals and contributed vocal arrangements on four tracks.
Musical arrangements on Western Stars include strings, horns and pedal steel along with contributions by more than 20 other players including Jon Brion, who played celeste, Moog and farfisa.
Watch the “Hello Sunshine” lyric video below.