NEW (album)


New (album) – 2013

New (stylised as III☰III) is the sixteenth post-Beatles (discounting his Wings-era discography, his orchestral works and his output as the Fireman) studio album by Paul McCartney, released on 14 October 2013 in the United Kingdom and the following day in the United States. The album was his first since 2007’s Memory Almost Full to consist entirely of new compositions.

The album was executive produced by Giles Martin, with production by Martin, Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Paul Epworth and it was mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York. McCartney has stated that New was inspired by recent events in his life as well as memories of his pre-Beatles history. He added that some of the arrangements are unlike his usual rock recordings, and that he specifically sought out younger producers to work with. He and his stage band performed in various venues to promote the album, along with promotional events held through social media. It was McCartney’s final album released on Hear Music before he returned to his old label Capitol Records.

The first single, “New”, and the album were met with a generally favourable reception from music critics. The album peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and on the US Billboard 200.

McCartney had initially intended to work on a trial basis with four of his favourite producers and select the best to record the whole album with. He ended up recording with all four: Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns, Paul Epworth and Giles Martin. Martin produced the majority of the tracks and acted as executive producer on the album. Recording took place at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles; Avatar Studios in New York; Abbey Road Studios, Air Studios and Wolf Tone Studios in London; and The Mill in East Sussex. The recording sessions started in January 2012 with Paul Epworth (at Wolf Tone and The Mill) and then resumed at Abbey Road during February–March with other songs taped with Ethan Johns. The sessions with Ronson took place probably around January 2012, with work resuming in July and then later in 2013. Songs produced by Martin were recorded at AIR Studios during March 2013 and in Los Angeles, very likely during the spring, according to author Luca Perasi.

Ronson had been selected following his set as DJ at McCartney’s wedding to Nancy Shevell two years before production began. The producer was preoccupied with his own wedding, which occurred at about the same time, and had almost forgotten to call McCartney back to accept the offer. A few months after Ronson served as DJ for another McCartney event in New York, Ronson received a call inviting him into the studio. In total Ronson recorded three tracks – “New”, “Alligator” and “Secret Life of a Party Girl” – although the last of these does not appear on the album.

Speaking to BBC News in August 2013, McCartney said that the album would be “very varied”, adding: “I worked with four producers and each of them brought something different.”[9] The tracks produced by Epworth “weren’t written” but improvised.[9] McCartney remarked of “New” that it was “a love song but it’s saying, ‘Don’t look at me, I haven’t got any answers.’ It says, ‘I don’t know what’s happening, I don’t know how it’s all happening, but it’s good and I love you.'”

Other tracks are autobiographical. McCartney wrote “On My Way to Work” about his pre-fame past, alluding to a time when he worked as a driver’s mate for Speedy Prompt Delivery in Liverpool. On the day that McCartney composed “Early Days”, he had been reminiscing about his past in Liverpool with John Lennon: “I started to get images of us in the record shop listening to early rock and roll and looking at the posters and the joy that that gave me remembering all those moments.” The refrain of “Queenie Eye” was taken from a game McCartney used to play during his childhood.

Regarding contemporary inspiration, McCartney acknowledged that the album had been influenced by his marriage to Shevell, about which he said: “This is a happy period in my life, having a new woman – so you get new songs when you get a new woman.” He felt that New was generally joyful, but with an undercurrent of “pain getting changed to laughter”. Ronson referred to the track “Alligator” in particular as being “brooding” and “quite tough”. McCartney revealed that “Alligator” was the oldest song on the album. McCartney wrote “Everybody Out There” specifically to “get the audience singing along”; he said that he was particularly proud of “Early Days” and the hidden track “Scared.

“New” was released as a single to the iTunes Store and SoundCloud on 28 August 2013. The single was accompanied by an announcement that the album would be released on 14 October in the United Kingdom, and a day later in the United States. A deluxe edition of New was also announced, featuring two bonus tracks. An official McCartney Instagram account launched at the same time as the album was revealed. McCartney debuted the songs “Save Us” and “Everybody Out There” at the third annual iHeartRadio Music Festival.

On 23 September, McCartney’s news blog unveiled the final artwork for New, replacing the earlier minimal black-and-white logo used as a placeholder for online retailers. The logo and cover concept was conceived by UK art and design team Rebecca and Mike, with CGI created by Ben Ib. The imagery of fluorescent lights was inspired by the sculptural work of Dan Flavin. The titles of the deluxe edition bonus tracks were also announced as “Turned Out” and “Get Me Out of Here”. Promotion later included a Twitter interview, on 4 October, when McCartney answered fan questions related to the album.

On 6 October, full-album listening events took place in the form of drive-ins: in the Los Angeles area, fans brought their vehicles to the Vinland Drive-In, while in New York City, listeners were taken to the rooftop of an Open Road Volkswagen dealership to sit in new cars belonging to the company. The drive-in idea came about late into the promotional campaign, when McCartney had been listening to the album in his own car about a week before the event took place.

On 10 October, McCartney and his band performed a surprise concert in New York’s Times Square, after posting two short tweets announcing the event about an hour before it occurred. The fifteen-minute performance consisted of four tracks off the album: “New”, “Save Us”, “Everybody Out There” and “Queenie Eye”. The event gathered a large crowd and came a day after another surprise concert to 400 students at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, New York. The latter performance was streamed on Yahoo! on 14 October. McCartney also performed songs from the album on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Track listing[edit]
All songs written by Paul McCartney, except “Save Us”, “Queenie Eye” and “Road” written by McCartney and Paul Epworth.

New – standard edition

No. Title Producer(s) Length

1. “Save Us” Paul Epworth 2:39
2. “Alligator” Mark Ronson 3:27
3. “On My Way to Work” Giles Martin 3:43
4. “Queenie Eye” Epworth 3:47
5. “Early Days” Ethan Johns 4:07
6. “New” Ronson 2:56
7. “Appreciate” Martin 4:28
8. “Everybody Out There” Martin 3:21
9. “Hosanna” Johns 3:29
10. “I Can Bet” Martin 3:21
11. “Looking at Her” Martin 3:05
12. “Road” (includes “Scared” as a hidden track) Epworth, Martin (“Scared”) 7:39

Total length: