Jeffrey Foucault announces new album inspired by passing of his best friend for September release

Credit: Joe Navas

On September 6th,  AUK favourite, Jeffrey Foucault will release his first album of entirely new material since 2018,” The Universal Fire” which will be out via Fluff and Gravy Records. A series of high-voltage performances captured live in one room, the album is described as a kind of working wake – Foucault lost his best friend and drummer, Billy Conway, to cancer in 2021 – as well as a meditation on the nature of beauty, artefact, and loss.

Augmenting Foucault’s all-star band with members of Calexico and Bon Iver (drummer John Convertino and producer/saxophonist Mike Lewis) the album sets Conway’s death against the massive 2008 fire at the Universal Studios lot in California that destroyed the master recordings of some of our bedrock American music, to interrogate ideas about mortality, legacy, meaning, and calling.

To mark the announced release date the title track has been released as a single “‘The Universal Fire’ is a song about loss, a kind of elegy,” Foucault says of the track. “The fire at Universal Studios destroyed original masters that can’t be replaced. These were the full flower of the culture that I was raised in and thought I knew as a young man, the music that my friends and I believed in, and shaped our lives around when everything else seemed false, or attenuated. Our religion was electric / Magnetic, singing on a wire. I wrote the track ‘The Universal Fire’ after the death of my best friend and long-time drummer, Billy Conway, in 2021. Billy believed deeply in the transformative power of music, and he played like a holy man. Then he was gone, and I was trying to remember what was real, and what I knew and believed in.” He adds, “Against that loss, I set out the idea of the fire in Los Angeles — a naturally occurring metaphor on par with the Titanic. If ‘The Universal Fire’ sounds like an existential proposition, I guess it is. All things pass away, and only spirit remains. But the song is more question than answer: what does it mean to lose these things, and who’s going to carry the light on ahead now? Who’s going to live in the mystery of the curve, the place between one and zero, where it’s still possible to be a human in the real world?”

Focault is playing a series of US dates in support of the album and we here at AUK Towers have all digits crossed for a visit this side of the pond. You ca pre-order or save the new album here.

“The Universal Fire” track listing:

1 – Winter Court
2 – The Universal Fire
3 – Solo Modelo
4 – Monterey Rain
5 – Moving Through
6 – Crushed Ice and Gasoline
7 – Night Shift
8 – East of the Sunrise
9 – Sometimes Love
10 – Woodsmoke

About Keith Hargreaves 404 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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