Sept. 11 would seem an inauspicious date to release a new album from a group of jam-rock kings. In this case, though, it makes sense. Some songs from "Away From the World," the new disc from Dave Matthews Band, are less about celebration than contemplation.
The first single from the album, "Mercy," is a plea for unity and human kindness, a sort of post 9/11, recession-dimmed take on "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding."
In keeping with the theme of the song, the band invited fans to send in video clips that would be used in official video for "Mercy."
Here's the end result.
The Charlottesville-born band's seventh studio disc finds Matthews thinking some deep thoughts, even if he doesn't always express them in heavy, serious terms.
"It kind of is suggesting that all of us are sort of removed from the world in a way, you know, in our minds or however," Matthews told host Guy Raz. "And so we're all in the same boat, even though we're sort of locked in our own heads."
The album's cover art emphasizes that idea, that people tend to become boxed in, disconnected from each other.
Other songs on the new album touch on similar themes. "Maybe it covers the same sort of area, as always, a lot of romance, I don't know, with love or sexuality, that sort of intimacy," Matthews said. "But then also, there's things that are in my mind, you know, the state of the world, and so you think about where we're going. I have children now, so I think about it more. And there's a bit of that."
By way of playing catch-up, here's the press release issued back in July that invited fans to contribute.
July 31, 2012
Away From The World, The Band’s Upcoming Album,
Set For September 11 Release
Dave Matthews Band is inviting fans to take part in the creation of a video for its latest
single, “Mercy.” Individuals who complete one (or more) easy-to-follow photo and/or video
tasks may find their images featured within the unique, fan based music video. Details are
posted at http://mercy.davematthewsband.com. One lucky fan who enters will win a trip to
the final show of Dave Matthews Band’s summer tour, which will take place at Shoreline
Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA on September 9. Fans do not need to contribute to the
video in order to win.
“Mercy” is the first single from the band’s forthcoming album, Away From The World. The
track, which is already a Top 3 hit at Triple A radio, is available now at all digital retailers.
On September 11, RCA Records will release Away From The World in CD, digital and vinyl
formats. Fans can pre-order the standard and deluxe editions of Away From The World on
additional tracks, which are exclusive live recordings of songs from the album. A
super-deluxe edition, containing the deluxe CD, a DVD, a 2012 tour photo book and
more, can also be pre-ordered at www.davematthewsband.com.
The group recorded Away From The World with Steve Lillywhite, who produced its first
three studio records – Under The Table And Dreaming, Crash and Before These Crowded
Streets. The upcoming album is the follow-up to 2009’s Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux
King, which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, making Dave Matthews Band one of
only two groups in chart history to have five consecutive studio albums enter atop
Dave Matthews Band – comprising Carter Beauford (drums), Stefan Lessard (bass), Dave
Matthews (vocals, guitar) and Boyd Tinsley (violin) – has sold a collective 37 million CDs
and DVDs combined. The band was the biggest ticket seller worldwide of the past decade
and has sold over 17 million tickets since its inception. The West Coast leg of Dave
Matthews Band’s summer tour will kick off with three consecutive nights at The Gorge
Amphitheatre in George, WA over Labor Day weekend (8/31, 9/1 & 2). For further
information about the tour, visit www.davematthewsband.com.
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