Bruce Springsteen's New Song Is a Country-Tinged Hat Tip to the Open Road

A legendary recording artist released a fantastic new single Friday and their name for damn sure isn’t Taylor Swift. Bruce Springsteen, 69, dropped “Hello Sunshine,” the first new song off his upcoming album Western Stars, which will be released via Columbia Records on June 14.

The country-tinged tune recalls the snare-drum shuffle of Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” as well as cinematic strings and pedal-steel guitar. On “Hello Sunshine,” Springsteen croons, “You fall in love with lonely, you end up that way/Hello sunshine, won’t you stay.” An accompanying lyric video contains imagery of an El Camino with New Jersey plates speeding down an open highway at dusk.

Western Stars is Springsteen’s first studio album since 2014’s High Hopes, and is first collection of all-new solo material since 2012’s Wrecking Ball. The new LP is Springsteen’s first major artistic endeavor since his wildly popular, Tony Award-winning Broadway run that concluded last December.

In a recent interview with Variety, Springsteen revealed that Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach, and “Southern California pop music of the ’70s” heavily influenced the writing and recording of Western Stars.

While Springsteen nods to classic influences, “Hello Sunshine” could arguably figure into the recent phenomenon of artists like Kacey Musgraves, Lil Nas X, Cardi B, Mason Ramsey and more leaning into American West and Southern country aesthetics, known online as the “Yeehaw Agenda.”

Springsteen calls Western Stars a “singer-songwriter record” that’s connected to earlier releases like Tunnel of Love and Devils & Dust, but “not like them at all.” The songs on the new album feature stories of “different charactersliving their lives.”

The album announcement has fueled speculation that Springsteen will go on tour. However, Springsteen dismissed rumors in December when he posted on Twitter that “the E Street Band won’t be touring in 2019” and urged fans to support other E Street projects.

Many fans believe the choice to specify that there would be no E Street tour—rather than no tour, period—leaves the door open for a solo Springsteen tour supporting the new album.

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