Folk rock star and singer/songwriter Ben Harper has announced he will be releasing his first-ever entirely-instrumental studio album later this month. The new full-length studio album–Harper’s seventh as a solo artist–is titled Winter is for Lovers and will be released via ANTI- Records. Harper has also shared the LP’s first single and corresponding video called “Inland Empire.”
With “Inland Empire,” fans of Harper’ more sparse and harmonic acoustic catalogue will certainly enjoy the song, which sees Harper whimsically move up and down the scales of his signature acoustic slide guitar to create a stripped down, beautifully-arranged melody with a few hints of his classic bluesy riffs along the way.
Discussing the creative process that went into the writing, recording and performing of his first instrumental album Harper says, “I have been composing this record for most of my adult life, and the challenge this record presented to me was completely new. To record an entire album with one guitar and no words, where every single nuance was under a microscope, was more demanding than any record I have made to date, and also more rewarding.”
As for the feelings and vibe of the collective album, the multi-instrumentalist says it is a bit more sparse than some fans might expect. “It is stark, bare bones, just me and my lap steel guitar. It is purposefully produced to sound intimate and spare, as if I am playing in your living room,” explains Harper. “Upon first listen it may be surprising or catch some people off guard because it is dramatically stripped-down in contrast to a lot of what we hear today. I am a big fan of flamenco, classical, Hawaiian and blues guitar, and I hope these influences are all somehow represented within Winter Is For Lovers.”
With the album’s official announcement, Harper has also announced a limited edition, autographed vinyl pressing of the album is currently available to fans for pre-sale, with additional digital and vinyl formats to be released later.
Winter is for Lovers track list:
- Joshua Tree
- Inland Empire
- Toronto (Reprise)