T Bone Burnett’s latest album, The Invisible Light: Spells, officially entered the world on Friday via the Verve Forecast label. It’s the second installment of his Invisible Light trilogy, which began with the 2019 album The Invisible Light: Acoustic Space.
Alongside the album, Burnett also shared a lyric video for the track “A Better Day,” seen below.
Burnett has had his biggest successes as Grammy- and Oscar-winning producer, overseeing the soundtracks for O Brother, Where Art Thou, Cold Mountain, Crazy Heart, Walk the Line, and more. But he’s been a tireless seeker of the songwriting muse since the 1970s, turning out a long string of albums that offer his idiosyncratic take on life.
Burnett’s latest project was conceived in partnership with keyboardist/composer Keefus Cancia and drummer Jay Bellerose. Between them they’ve played with a jaw-dropping array of artists including Leon Russell, Elton John, Cassandra Wilson, Willie Nelson, and many more.
The theme of the Invisible Light trilogy is the way that technology has impacted our culture over the years, as technological advances have made increasingly greater impositions on our everyday existence. Burnett stated, “Human beings have undergone more than a century of electronic programming. It ties into everything that’s happening today in every aspect of our lives. We need to fight it, because those machines are siloing us into groups of people who all think alike and act alike. We are becoming and have become a world of cults now.”
Over the course of the album, Burnett, Cancia, and Bellerose venture into everything from modern electronic textures to the timeless vibe of primal, tribal-sounding settings. But the thematic thread connecting it all is the ways in which the onslaught of media has damaged humankind’s ability to make its own decisions and differentiate reality from fantasy. It’s an idea that’s especially relevant these days, and the trio is eager to dive into it.
Stream or buy The Invisible Light: Spells here and scroll down to view the tracklist.
The Invisible Light: Spells
2. I’m Starting a New Life Today
3. Mother Cross (We Think We Think)
4. A Better Day
5. Casting A Spell
6. You May Leave But This Will Bring You Back
7. Mother Cross (We Think We Think) Reprise
8. Itopia Chant
9. A Better Day (Reprise)