Mark Twain once said that a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. On the epic new record Li(f)e, Sage Francis attempts to speak truth to the lies that pervade all facets of existence. Backed by an unusual consortium of indie rockers, Rhode Island's finest dissects the human condition with brutal honesty and unparalleled wit. From organized religion to interpersonal relationships and beyond, Sage examines the omnipresent impact of the myths many come to mistake as axioms.
Sage's sonic experimentation speaks to his genre's legacy of shattering barriers and forging new styles. While his past two Anti-/Epitaph releases showed a heavy punk influence, Li(f)e is a groundbreaking amalgamation of folk, indie rock and hip hop. Brian Deck, acclaimed for his work with Iron & Wine and Modest Mouse, produced the entire record and incorporated live instrumentation from members of DeVotchKa, Sparklehorse, Calexico and Death Cab For Cutie, many of whom had never worked on a hip hop project before. It may sound gimmicky on paper, but the result is a rap album unlike any you've ever heard before.
Indie hip-hop and indie rock have always existed in seemingly parallel universes: on separate websites, in separate blogospheres, and on separate stages at the same festivals. Leave it to indie rap stalwart Sage Francis to help the two cross swords. On his fourth official solo album, entitled Li(f)e, Sage works with members of various rock groups, including Sparklehorse, Califone, Calexico, DeVotchKa, Death Cab for Cutie, and others, not to mention the fact that Iron & Wine/Modest Mouse associate Brian Deck produced the whole shebang. URB spoke to Sage about how the hell he pulled off this new LP, growing old in rap years, and how he plans to maintain his record label in an ever-weakening industry.
Here’s the new single from Sage Francis’ upcoming album Li(f)e, in stores May 11. The music was made by composer Yann Tiersen, and produced by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine), who produced the entirety of Sage’s new LP. He also collaborated with indie rockers like Califone, Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, Tim Fite, Calexico, DeVotchKa, and others. Grab it below.