Sage Francis To Release Fourth Studio Album In May

Sage Francis is planning to release his fourth studio album, his first in three years, through Anti- Records this May. According to Anti-’s website the album’s name, Li(f)e, is a “deliberate amalgamation of the words life and lie”.

Working with producers and members of independent rock bands, Sage Francis is creating a completely unique piece of work incorporating genres of indie hip-hop lyricism backed by indie rock music. Francis has enlisted the help of band members from groups such as Death Cab for Cutie, Sparklehorse, Califone, DeVotchKa and a former member of Grandaddy. It was important that the collaborators had not worked with a rapper before in order to make this project work and turn out the way Sage wanted it to. “We specifically sought out songwriters who had never worked with a rapper,” Francis explains. “And I didn’t want them to write music they thought they should for hip-hop.”

For further information please read the statement released by Anti- Records below.

Anti-Records is excited to announce the impending release of an impassioned new album Li(f)e by celebrated agent-provocateur of hip hop, Sage Francis. An underground star from his years as a battle champion, poet and founder of influential Strange Famous Records, Francis garnered even wider acclaim with his incendiary 2005 release “A Healthy Distrust,” a timely condemnation of corporate greed, war-mongering and American complacency. On his electrifying new album Li(f)e, Francis turns his keen observational skills to a culture of rampant hypocrisy and, in particular, organized religion.

This album is a marked evolution for Francis. His signature wordplay, a dazzling mix of sardonic humor and biting social commentary, is now complimented by a talented band consisting of producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron and Wine) and cohorts Jim Becker and Tim Rutili of the acclaimed Chicago outfit Califone. It proves an effective soundtrack for Francis’ riveting lyrical discourse. The record’s title Li(f)e is a deliberate amalgamation of the words life and lie. As Francis says, “What about life is a lie? What we’re told about God is a lie. What we’re told about race, gender roles, beauty, war, food, drugs, sexuality, capitalism, history, the nature of humankind…a gang of lies. I feel it in my gut, I think it in my brain, I write it with my hands and I speak it with my mouth. That’s what makes Li(f)e the general theme of this album.”

To help convey his impassioned message Francis has enlisted a cadre of uniquely talented songwriters. The album begins with a stirring Steinbeck imbued tale of prison break entitled Little Houdini’ with music written by ex Grandaddy frontman turned solo artist Jason Lytle. “We specifically sought out songwriters who had never worked with a rapper,” Francis explains. “And I didn’t want them to write music they thought they should for hip-hop. The music for ‘Little Houdini’ was a long epic instrumental piece Jason had just hanging around which I then worked my story into.” Next up is a rousing and energetic anthem entitled “Three Sheets” with music written by Chris Walla of the band Death Cab for Cutie. Subsequent songs feature compositions by Tim Fite, members of Calexico, DeVotchKa, and Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse – each interpreted by Francis and the band resulting in an entirely organic and captivating vehicle for Francis’ dramatic narratives.

Li(f)e is a thought provoking and unabashedly original album from an evolving artist with a refreshingly distinctive voice.

Track List

  1. Little Houdini (written by Sage Francis and Jason Lytle)
  2. Three Sheets to the Wind (written by Sage Francis and Chris Walla)
  3. I Was Zero (written by Sage Francis, Richard Terfry, Brian Deck, Tim Rutili, Jim Becker, and Gordon Patriarca)
  4. Slow Man (written by Sage Francis, Joey Burns, and John Convertino)
  5. Diamonds and Pearls (written by Sage Francis, Thomas Hagerman, Shawn Gilbert, JeanieSchroder, and Nicholas Iurata)
  6. Polterzeitgeist (written by Sage Francis, Tim Rutili, Jim Becker, and Brian Deck)
  7. The Baby Stays (written by Sage Francis and Tim Rutili)
  8. 16 Years (written by Sage Francis, Kurt Read, Brian Deck, Tim Rutili, Jim Becker, and Gordon Patriarca)
  9. Worry Not (written by Sage Francis and Tim Fite)
  10. London Bridge (written by Sage Francis & Chris Walla)
  11. Love The Lie (written by Sage Francis & Mark Linkous)
  12. The Best of Times (written by Sage Francis & Yann Tiersen)

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