Alice in Chains singer-guitarist Jerry Cantrell has announced his first solo album in 19 years. The legendary rocker will release Brighten on October 29th, and he’s shared shared the first single, “Atone,” as a preview
Cantrell premiered the heavy new track via Rolling Stone, describing the song as follows: “As a fan of Ennio Morricone scores and Sergio Leone movies, it’s got a bit of that outlaw vibe, with a cool psycho hillbilly stomp. It’s been kicking around in my head for like 20-plus years, haunting me. Sometimes it takes a while for a good idea to find its best form. Such was the case with ‘Atone.’”
The new album features an impressive cast of backing musicians, including Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), Gil Sharone (Team Sleep), Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney), Tyler Bates, Michael Rozon, Vincent Jones, Jordan Lewis, Lola Bates, and Matias Ambrogi-Torres.
“It was like an old school ’70s record where a multitude of musicians played,” Cantrell said of the collaborative effort. “So it’s not a set band. I got to make music with a bunch of people I never had before, along with friends like Duff, Tyler, and Gil, who I’ve worked with previously.”
The music video for “Atone” starts out with Cantrell performing alone in a desert, but a couple minutes in, we see Puciato providing backing vocals, McKagan playing bass, and Sharone behind the drum kit.
The nine-song album concludes with a cover of Elton John’s “Goodbye,” for which he received the music icon’s blessing. “Out of respect to Elton, I wouldn’t include it unless he said it was OK. He’d played piano on [Alice in Chains’] ‘Black Gives Way to Blue,’ which I wrote for Layne, so I reached out to Elton, he listened to it, and told me ‘You should absolutely use it.’ I got the signoff by the man himself. I couldn’t think of a better way to close the record!”
Brighten follows Cantrell’s last solo album, Degradation Trip, which was released in June 2002, and then again as an expanded two-volume version in November of that year. His most recent album with Alice in Chains was 2018’s Rainier Fog.
The new album was co-produced by Cantrell, Tyler Bates, and Paul Fig. Watch the video for “Atone” and see the artwork and tracklist for Brighten below. Pre-order the album in various physical editions via Jerry Cantrell’s online store or digitally via Amazon.
03. Prism of Doubt
04. Black Hearts and Evil Done
05. Siren Song
06. Had To Know
07. Nobody Breaks You
09. Goodbye (Elton John cover)