Joseph Arthur celebrates second album anniversary and shares new song ‘California’

Over the course of his prolific career, Ohio-born Joseph Arthur has released fifteen albums and eleven official EPs under his own name, and has been involved with several high-profile side projects, including Fistful Of Mercy with Ben Harper & Dhani Harrison, and Arthur Buck with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his pivotal sophomore record Come To Where I’m From, Joseph Arthur will release an expanded digital edition of the album featuring two discs of previously unavailable and unheard songs, on June 12, 2020.

The first of these discs, Heavy Bullets, brings together a set of ‘lost songs’ from the album’s recording sessions in 1998 and 1999, early versions of ‘In The Sun’ and ‘Exhausted’, and b-sides that were previously only available on CD singles. The second disc, Live at the Gypsy Tea Room, captures Arthur at his best — live and unedited with an acoustic guitar at a gig in Dallas, TX, in June 2000, shortly after the album was released.

Joseph Arthur, 1999. Photo credit: Anton corbijn.

Recorded between three iconic studios — Sound City and Sunset Sound in L.A., and Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Wiltshire, England — Arthur co-produced Come To Where I’m From with Rick Will and the legendary T-Bone Burnett. It’s a dense, attractively claustrophobic record, full of delightful contradictions: unnerving and reassuring, raw and yet meticulously compiled.

I wanted to do something that was more flawed,” Arthur said at the time of its release. “Music can be overly controlled and contained so that there’s not that sense of gamble; not the sense that something can go wrong. I wanted to allow for some humanity on there.”

Come To Where I’m From features the ever-popular ‘In The Sun’ — an acoustic-led song of self-awakening which became a cult classic when it underscored a memorable scene on the era-defining US comedy-drama Scrubs, and was subsequently covered by R.E.M’s Michael Stipe and Coldplay’s Chris Martin for a Hurricane Katrina Relief Benefit EP in 2006.  The album was also chosen as the #1 album of 2000 by Entertainment Weekly.

Reflecting on the timeless nature of its lyrics, Arthur notes that he has seen how people once again are finding ‘In The Sun’ a source of inspiration during this unprecedented global crisis and time of uncertainty.

The official video for 'In The Sun', directed by Anton Corbijn.

Emerging after twenty years stored in the record label vaults, Arthur has named the new collection of tracks Heavy Bullets, after a song which carries a lyric he felt was as true to these times we are living through as it was for him personally when he wrote it at the turn of the century: “Hey man there’s a revolution in the air / I feel heavy bullets flying everywhere / We can go high together, cause I know you’ll never be less than free

Ahead of the album’s release, the opening track of Heavy Bullets, ‘California’ is available to stream along with an early version of ‘In The Sun’.

"The looseness of this music is the heart of its power. These tracks are like cryptic notes from a bygone era. A voice from the past — my voice — having a conversation with me here now. Songs work like that. Submerged in your subconscious, they come popping through like oracles telling you your future, and at the same time revealing the idiot winds of your past. It’s like opening up an old book of photos." Joseph Arthur

Recalling a pre-digital era, full of tape saturation and analogue grit, Heavy Bullets has a diverse palette of sounds, reflective of the ever-changing creative process Arthur underwent over many months of recording sessions with co-producers T-Bone Burnett and Rick Will — sessions which also yielded his Grammy-nominated 1999 EP, Vacancy.

The intimate, retro-folk of songs such as ‘Frozen Girl’, ’40 Days & Nights’ and ‘The Other Side’ capture Joseph Arthur at his most lyrically visceral, and contrast brilliantly with the full-on rock of ‘Freeze You Out’ and closing track, ‘In The Distance’.

Heavy Bullets tracklist

01  California
02  In The Sun (Early Version)
03  Frozen Girl
04  Exhausted (Early Version)
05  The Other Side
06  Freeze You Out
07  Cocaine Blind
08  Heavy Bullets
09  Ask The Dust
10  40 Days & Nights
11  Victory Boulevard
12  Ski Or Snowboard
13  In The Distance

Come To Where I’m From (Anniversary Edition) is out June 12, 2020 on all digital platforms. A 2-track single, California/In The Sun, is out now. Joseph Arthur will revisit songs from the album with a virtual concert on June 12th.  (Details to be announced shortly)

Pre-order Come To Where I’m From (Anniversary Edition)

Featured Release

  • Come To Where I’m From

    Joseph Arthur

    Released 05 April 2000

    Come To Where I'm From is Joseph Arthur’s second album for Real World. Co-produced by the mighty T-Bone Burnett, it's a dense, attractively claustrophobic record, full of delightful contradictions: unnerving and reassuring, raw and yet meticulously compiled.

By Online Editor

Main image: Joseph Arthur in 1999. Photo credit: Anton Corbijn.

Published on Wed, 03 June 20

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