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Jake Shears prepares to release his stunning self-titled debut solo album on August 10th. This is the Scissor Sisters frontman's first full-length work since that group's album Magic Hour and hiatus in 2012. Immediately following the hiatus announcement, Jake spent a few lost years in Los Angeles, before taking an ever-increasing number of visits to New Orleans, which became a new muse and home.
The city’s singular energy and musical traditions inspired him, and he got back to work. Recording the initial ideas in the city’s famed Marigny Studios, Shears then decamped to Louisville, KY to record the album with Kevin Ratterman (Ray LaMontagne, My Morning Jacket) at his magical hub of creativity La La Land. Ratterman assembled renowned local musicians including members of My Morning Jacket, VHS or Beta, Jim James’ solo band, and Floating Action to lay down the album’s foundation. When the basic structures were solid, Jake then brought in Christian Hebel (Barbra Streisand) and Lance Horne (Alan Cumming) to do string and brass arrangements, returning to New Orleans to capture the city’s signature sound with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Sturgill Simpson’s brass section. The record was then mixed in Los Angeles by Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Childish Gambino) whose ability to make recordings that feel both classic and contemporary impressed Shears. The result is a thrilling work that plays inside some of the hallmarks of classic American rock music and marries them with Jake’s inimitable point of view, humor, and gift for unforgettable hooks.
"I created the record that I wanted to hear, that I felt had been missing from my life.” states Shears, adding “It took time, was handcrafted and is something that no one else could have made. These songs were cooked low and slow in the South, in Kentucky and New Orleans, with humor, heartbreak and horns. If it sounds expensive, that’s because it was. This is the sound of actual human beings, playing real instruments onto tape. It took two years to make and for months I slept in the studio, behind the old upright piano. Whenever I had any self-doubt, I reminded myself— this is exactly how all of my favorite records were made, with fingerprints, sweat and honesty. It’s a record about finding yourself, again."