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Hear Billy Gibbons’ Atmospheric New Song ‘Desert High’

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Billy Gibbons previewed his upcoming solo LP, Hardware, with an atmospheric new song, “Desert High.”

The ZZ Top frontman conjures a barren, unforgiving landscape throughout the track, intoning about howling wind and shaking rattlesnakes over a skeletal bass line and bluesy guitar leads. “The City of Angels ain’t too far from here,” he speak-sings. “And when I need some sin, it’s always near.”

You can hear the track below.

Gibbons detailed the song’s inspiration on Twitter: “The desert is a truly mysterious place and we were privileged to have spent all that time there absorbing the heat, the vibe and cranking it out.”

Hardware — Gibbons third solo LP, following 2018’s The Big Bad Blues — is out June 4. The album, which also features the recently issued single “West Coast Junkie,” was recorded at Escape Studio outside of Palm Springs in California.

“We holed up in the desert for a few weeks in the heat of the summer and that in itself was pretty intense,” he said in a statement announcing the record. “To let off steam we just ‘let it rock,’ and that’s what Hardware is really all about. For the most part, it’s a raging rocker but always mindful of the desert’s implicit mystery.”

Guns N’ Roses member Matt Sorum played a crucial role in the project: drumming and co-producing alongside Gibbons and Mike Fiorentino.

Hardware’s title is a nod to late recording engineer Joe Hardy, who worked on a series of ZZ Top albums including 1983’s Eliminator, 1985’s Afterburner, 1994’s Antenna, 1996’s Rhythmeen, 1999’s XXX, 2003’s Mescalero and 2012’s La Futura. Hardy died in 2019 at age 66.



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