It’s almost been three years since Jack White released Lazaretto, his second solo record, a genre bending album that ranged from blues, to garage rock, to country. The album was met with critical acclaim and was nominated for three Grammy awards, one being “Best Rock Song” for “Lazaretto”.
Though we haven’t seen any new music from Jack White since the release of Lazaretto, we know the musician has been pretty busy. His company, Third Man Records, now has two locations: Nashville and Detroit, both of which have become havens for local artists to perform and produce vinyl. White has also released several vinyl of his own, the latest being this past September when he released “Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998–2016”, a retrospect of songs primarily from the White Stripes era. It quickly became the No. 1 vinyl record purchased in the U.S. Not to mention his work with Beyonce. White appeared on Lemonade, on the song “Don’t Hurt Yourself” which he wrote and sang with Queen Bey on the album.
We can’t think of anyone who fits the term “renaissance man” more than Jack White, who, over the course of any given day, is all at once a musician, businessman, project supervisor, producer, and idea man. And for all that he’s done for local and aspiring musicians, we can forgive him from taking a break from the songwriting and recording.
Recently, White produced a record for his recurring bandmate Lille Mae Rische, who performed the fiddle with him. Her new song, ‘Honky Tonks and Taverns” is a smooth, upbeat country song that is polished by the expertise of Jack White, whose role in the recording studio is often meticulous. In the interview, he states: “My feeling is, if you record a take, and it’s not good enough, erase it, until you find what you love,” he said. “What people do on Pro Tools, they record fifty takes and fix it. They’re Auto-Tuning and throwing on the grid, so it’s all in time, and there’s no life left to it. We erase something, and it’s gone forever.”
Now that Lillie Mae’s record is complete, Jack White will be spending several hours in an apartment he rented in Nashville, a home away from home where he will write new music in isolation. The room that White will write in was described as “shadowy” and “cell-like”, but we’re hoping that something incredible will come out of such drastic conditions. And with everything else he has going on, it makes sense that he needs a confined space of his own to generate creative energy that is both personal and universal.
Jack White’s hopes for his process are ambitious. “I’m going to try to write songs where I can’t be heard by the next-door neighbor,” White said. “And I want to write like Michael Jackson would write—instead of writing parts on the instruments or humming melodies, you think of them. To do everything in my head and to do it in silence and use only one room.”
So, will Jack White release a new album in 2017? We think it depends on his process and how efficient it is. We’re hoping that his confinement leads to a greater good, an outpouring of material that is both vital and eccentric, much like White himself. Even if it takes another year, we’re just happy to hear that Jack White is back to writing music, not to mention his dedication to generating something great. Check back for updates regarding Jack White’s upcoming album and performances. And in the mean time, relive his commanding performance of “Lazaretto” at Glastonbury 2014.