Acclaimed singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson’s forthcoming album Bella is set for release February 8 on Verve Forecast. The album follows 2008’s A Piece of What You Need, which The Guardian declared “one of this year’s best,” and debuted at #9 in the UK charts. Bella is Thompson’s fifth set in a career that has consistently garnered critical praise. NPR proclaims that he’s “the musical equivalent of an arrow to the heart,” while The New York Times calls his work “beautifully finessed.”
Recorded in New York City and produced by David Kahne (The Strokes, Regina Spektor, Paul McCartney), Bella features some of Thompson’s boldest material to date, combining lean rock and roll with lush string arrangements through the album. Thompson began working on the material for Bella after he returned from his last tour; he structured his writing sessions by going to a Manhattan office each day where he developed these songs, honing in as a recording deadline loomed. Using his touring band—Ethan Eubanks (drums), Jeff Hill (bass), Daniel Mintseris (keyboards)—Thompson and Kahne cut basic tracks at Avatar in midtown Manhattan, the former site of the legendary Power Station.
Says Thompson, “It was quite old-school recording studio, which there aren’t many of anymore. It felt almost decadent, making an old fashioned record in a big studio. In the first few weeks, when we were going into the big room, I felt like I was really going to make a record as opposed to going into some little room with computer screens, which it so often is these days. We definitely did a lot of that later on. At least in the beginning it was very rock and roll.”
The son of folk legends Richard and Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson formed his first band in his teens. His original tunes and live gigs generated such acclaim that he was soon signed to Virgin Records. By the time Thompson released his self-titled solo debut in 2000, he’d already played in his father’s touring band and contributed guitar and backing vocals to his father’s albums, You? Me? Us? and Mock Tudor. In 2002, Thompson played a key role in drawing his mother out of a 17-year musical retirement to record her landmark disc Fashionably Late, which he played on and co-produced. Thompson also toured as part of Rosanne Cash’s band before signing with Verve. This is his fourth release for the label.