Elvis Costello will greet 2022 with a new studio album that he recorded with his longtime backing group The Imposters called The Boy Named If.
The 13-track collection, which will be released on January 14, is described in a press statement as an album “of urgent, immediate songs with bright melodies, guitar solos that sting and a quick step to the rhythm.”
Costello explains about the project, “The full title of this record is The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories). ‘IF’ is a nickname for your imaginary friend; your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own.”
The Boy Named If will be available on vinyl, CD, cassette and digital formats. There also will be “an 88-page hardback storybook edition,” each copy of which will be signed and numbered by Elvis.
The storybook edition features 13 illustrated short stories that have the same titles as the album’s songs and relate to the corresponding tunes in some way. The stories feature the lyrics of the songs, and the illustrations were created by artist Eamon Singer.
In advance of The Boy Named If, one of the tracks, “Magnificent Hurt,” has been released as a digital single.
Costello has been quite busy since the start of the pandemic. He released his last studio album, Hey Clockface, in October of 2020, followed in March 2021 by La Face de Pendule à Coucou, an EP featuring French-language versions of six songs from Hey Clockface sung by Iggy Pop, actress Isabelle Adjani and others.
In September, Elvis released Spanish Model, a Spanish-language version of his 1978 album This Year’s Model showcasing various guest singers.
Here’s The Boy Named If‘s full track list:
“The Boy Named If”
“What If I Can’t Give You Anything but Love?”
“Paint the Red Rose Blue”
“Mistook Me for a Friend”
“My Most Beautiful Mistake” (guest vocal by Nicole Atkins)
“The Man You Love to Hate”
“The Death of Magic Thinking”
“Trick Out the Truth”
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