“Sometimes less is more, and this just seemed like one of those times,” Willie Nile said of his upcoming album, If I Was A River. When the album drops, on November 11, you’ll see that he was indeed right.
The sparse, heartfelt piano ballads that define the album, while something of an aesthetic departure from Nile’s rocking side, epitomize his impassioned delivery and tender grandeur, comparable to that of Born To Run-era Springsteen. “Lost,” the first track Nile shared from the new album, was no exception, its piano both twinkling and swelling underneath its rugged vocals, its compositional simplicity the ideal counterpoint to its emotional rawness. “I love the simplicity of just sitting at a piano and singing a song, and I first started out in music playing the piano,” Nile said. In fact, on this album, Nile isn’t playing just any piano; he’s playing the very same Steinway grand he used while recording at New York’s Record Plant 34 years earlier, the night John Lennon was killed after leaving a session at that same studio.
Now, exclusively through Elmore, Nile has shared a second track, “Gloryland.” Pairing the album’s trademark elegiac yet sweet piano with the ethereal lift of some well-placed guitar, the song takes on a hymnlike quality befitting an album this intimate. Listen to “Gloryland” below and pre-order If I Was A River here.