Elvis Costello, who was honored with the Founders Award at ASCAP's annual Pop Awards May 20, has wrapped up a new album for Deutsche Grammophon. The still-untitled project is to be issued Sept. 23.
"It will be something quite different," he promises. "It's all original songs written at the piano. There are 11 songs and they are among the most direct I've ever written lyrically, and, musically, I hope they do something new. I've written all the orchestrations myself. The orchestration ranges from a 35-piece ensemble to solo piano, so there's quite a range, but it's all of one piece. It kind of can be heard as a story there's a thread running through it."
Additionally, Costello says he plays guitar on only one track and his singing style is different for this project. "I'm singing exclusively in my speaking register, everything in baritone range, with the exception of maybe four notes on the record that go above middle C."
Costello says the "gentle oral education in music" his parents provided him with has kept him in good stead during his years as a songwriter. "As a consequence, when I'm looking for a model for my songwriting, depending on the mood I'm in and the thing I'm trying to say, it might be Nowlin' Wolf, Rodgers & Hart, or it might be something currently on the chart. You have to keep an open mind."