Dying Van Gogh Records and FieldHouse Music/BMG have released the first single from the long-awaited new Ed Hale album this week. The song “Tell You True” is a bouncy pop gem with an Adult Contemporary feel and is the first new music Hale has released since he and band The Transcendence’s garage-pop rocker The Great Mistake. His last solo artist release Ballad On Third Avenue broke the artist to a larger mainstream audience with the hits “New Orleans Dreams”, “I Walk Alone” and “Scene in San Francisco, the latter climbing to #24 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart where it stayed for 18 weeks.
“Tell You True” is the first track on Hale’s upcoming new album, entitled So For Real, which doesn’t have an official release date yet. Fans of Hale’s Ballad On Third will most likely be thrilled with this latest effort. The sound of So For Real is similar in style: the foundation is still acoustic, but the songs are more polished, more eclectic and feature ample helpings of more vocals and instrumentation. In a very real sense, this collection of songs is an even easier, more pleasurable listen. Hale has dropped much of the angst run rampant throughout Ballad and sounds considerably more at ease and dare one say even joyful.
The first single “Tell You True” is a testament to this observation. Straight-ahead pop with a laidback but uptempo beat, a catchy melody with a sound reminiscent of a Jack Johnson or John Mayer. None of the usual All Your Heroes Become Villains high-art concept here. No oddly placed instrumental passages. No sound collage intros or extended jam outros. Just good solid pop with an infectious melody that makes you want to keep coming back. Hale and band have made it easier this time around. A rare event for this artist. One might also consider the possibility that having fellow Transcendence bandmate Roger Houdaille (who also fronts the indie rock band Ex Norwegian) in the producer’s seat may have contributed more than a fair share to this result.
So For Real is one of three (or four, depending on who you ask), new albums that Hale and his Transcendence bandmates recorded between 2012 and 2015 and are scheduled to release over the next two years. So For Real is the first and most straightforward of the group. The album’s release was delayed by over a year due to Hale’s extended illness throughout most of 2015, something the singer hasn’t discussed much publicly. But once he was on the mend, mixing the 37-plus songs the band recorded, along with mastering and artwork selection, began to ramp up again earlier this year. And not a moment too soon: the new album also contains the already-much hyped “Summer Flowers”, which is set to be released as the album’s second single.
“Tell You True” is now available on the iTunes Music Store, Amazon.com, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and anywhere music is sold or streamed. It was recorded at Six AC Studios New York, NY, The Shire Seattle, WA and Reseda Ranch Los Angeles, CA. It was produced by Roger Houdaille and Fernando Perdomo. Music and lyrics by Ed Hale. Engineered by Jake McCaffray. Mixed and Mastered by Zach Ziskin. Photos by Fiona Pepe. Painting by Tiny de Bruin. Artwork and album design by Uber Gina Rowland.
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