Luke Roberts premieres track from forthcoming Thrill Jockey album Sunlit Cross

Luke Roberts premieres track from forthcoming Thrill Jockey album Sunlit Cross
Photo: Andrea Behrends

Tennessee native, now man-of-the-world Luke Roberts is about to unveil his new full-length Sunlit Cross on Thrill Jockey, and today we are excited to premiere the album’s next single, “Untitled Blues.”

Handwoven and country-inflected, there is a warmth to Roberts’s music that reflects the restless spirit-chasing of his formative years. A former train-hopper (an energy conjured in his melancholy America-through-the-window video for “Silver Chain”) and global wanderer to locales as far-flung as Montana and Cambodia, Roberts began composing Sunlit Cross while setting his anchor down briefly in Kenya. Returning to the states, the record was built in Athens with the steady hand of Kyle Spence (Kurt Vile, Harvey Milk), who pulled in musical contributions by members of Harvey Milk, Drive-By Truckers, and Vile himself.

That notion of leaving home and then returning dominates the mood of “Untitled Blues”: reflective and held down by an especially forlorn pedal steel, the track captures that sense of coming back to the place you are rooted and having to sort through what you may have gathered up out there in the world. One can feel Roberts musically yearning for a life, and roots, that are behind him (a sense made perhaps more poignant by the fact that, after traveling the world, he is now farming land in the very state he has born in).

Sunlit Cross will be available October 14 on Thrill Jockey. Roberts and his Athens GA-based band will also be touring later in the year. Stream “Untitled Blues” below.

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