Out now is Chrissie Hynde's new jazz-based solo album, Valve Bone Woe. The album, on which the Pretenders leader is backed by the Valve Bone Woe Ensemble, is garnering great reviews and features covers of such personal favorites by the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Ray Davies, Charles Mingus, Nick Drake, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Nick Drake, and John Coltrane, among others.
With the album veering into the “jazz dub” genre, we asked Chrissie Hynde — a bonafide rock star songwriter if there ever was one — what the impetus was for the left-field excursion on the new album: “The real point of the record was, I wanted to sing songs that had a lot of melody. Just from a singing point of view, it's just more fun to sing melodies. (Nowadays) they just seem to sing one line and it goes on and on and on — it doesn't really go anywhere. So, the songs I chose on the album had quite a few melodic twists. And then there's a couple that are (laughs) possibly lacking in the melody, but have atmosphere. And we wanted to make the slowest album ever made. Y'know, that was kind of our idea.”
Hynde's take on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds closer, “Caroline, No” just might rival Brian Wilson's heart-wrenching original take: “'Caroline, No' was one of my strong contenders right from the start. What a huge influence they were on all music — the Beatles and everyone. I mean, when Pet Sounds came out, obviously everyone freaked out and changed their destinies. But 'Caroline, No,' undeniably, whenever that came on the radio, it just got me every time. It's just one of those songs that just oozes atmosphere and has got that fantastic melody and so, I think one of the great songs of all time.”
Chrissie Hynde will next perform on September 14th in London at BBC's Pomes In The Park, followed by a November 24th appearance at the Royal Festival Hall for the London Jazz Festival.
Hynde and the Pretenders will be back on the road in support of a new album in 2020.