David Crosby is on track to release his third album of original material in four years, Sky Trails, due out September 29. Today welcomes a pre-stream of the record, which features a full band sound that takes Crosby in a new musical direction as the set tilts toward jazz. “It’s a natural thing for me,” says Crosby in a press release. “I’ve always felt more comfortable there. There’s complexity, intricacy and subtleties in the music. I like that stuff.” You can listen to a pre-album stream exclusively through NPR here.
The album opens with the intoxicating “She’s Got To Be Somewhere,” – Crosby and a nine-piece band premiered the track via the Tonight Show earlier this year – which features sturdy horns, bending guitar notes and lilting melodies. Crosby is backed on the album by the Sky Trails musicians, the core of whom are saxophonist Steve Tavaglione, bassist Mai Agan, drummer Steve DiStanislao, and Crosby’s son, multi-instrumentalist James Raymond, who also produced the album.
Sky Trails follows last year’s critically acclaimed Lighthouse – which was co-written with Snarky Puppy’s Michael League – which was preceded by 2014’s Croz, Crosby’s first solo album in 20 years. Though Crosby wrote many of the songs for Sky Trails as he was working on Lighthouse, the two are distinctly different projects. “Lighthouse was conspicuously and deliberately acoustic,” Crosby says. “Sky Trails was intended to be a full band record from the start.”
Crosby co-wrote four of the album’s 10 songs with his son, Raymond Crosby. “He’s probably the person I write best with,” Crosby says. “We often write over the internet. I’ll send him a scrap of words and then we’ll expand on it or I’ll send him a complete set of words and he’ll say, ‘please let me see what I can come up with’ and he’ll send me back a demo of what he thinks the music should be.”
Listen to Sky Trails here.