Jackson Browne has a new album called Standing In The Breach due out tomorrow, October 7th. Listen to the second single, "The Birds of St. Marks," above via SoundCloud.
Browne shared details about the song with Melissa Block on NPR's All Things Considered. It was actually an unfinished song from earlier in his career. In the late 1960s, Browne moved to New York City and got a job playing for Nico, who wanted Browne to play guitar like The Byrds' Jim McGuinn. As you can hear, there's a major Byrds influence happening in the song with the 12-string guitar and rambling approach to vocals. It's also in the same key as the Byrds' classic versions of "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Mr. Tambourine Man." Here's what Browne had to say about the tune:
I guess I thought the song wasn't really finished... When I kind of dusted it off, it seemed fine. It seemed — matter of fact, there was something about it being something from a long time ago that gave it a quality that I liked. It was, you know, like a picture from [an] earlier time of my life, and I sort of liked that. But I'd never done it the way I intended it to be when I wrote it, so I realized I could do it like The Byrds.
C'mon. 'Dying midnight roses'? That's so extreme... But that's what I began to like about it. It was just, like — it's a young song. It really is from my 18-year-old eyes, looking wide-eyed at this Andy Warhol scene in New York.
Browne's vocals sound as fresh and vibrant as they did in his glory days of the '70s. The guitars ring beautifully, and the song has a country groove that's steady and strong.
For Jackson Browne's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.