Elvis Costello has shared a gripping new song, “Newspaper Pane,” from his upcoming album, Hey Clockface, out October 30th via Concord Records.
Unlike other songs on Hey Clockface — which were recorded in Helsinki and Paris — “Newspaper Pane” came about after the Covid-19 pandemic set in and Costello found himself separated from his collaborators. The song was written and produced in New York by composer/arranger Michael Leonhart, with the help of guitarist Bill Frisell, while Costello contributed his lyrics and vocals from a “westward hideout,” according to a release.
The song begins with a brooding aura as Costello paints a portrait of a woman holed up in a room where she’s covered the windows with old newspapers, which both keep out the elements and allow her to immerse herself in the details of an unattainable life. Costello proceeds to paint alternately joyful and gutting scenes from this woman’s past as the arrangement grows richer with organ, drums, and horns.
“Newspaper Pane” also arrives with an animated lyric video that brings the woman’s story to life, directed by Eamon Singer and Arlo McFurlow.
Hey Clockface follows Costello’s 2018 album with the Imposters, Look Now. Last year, he released a four-song EP, Purse, featuring songs he co-wrote with Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach, as well as tracks featuring lyrics by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.