Following the release of last year’s Absolute Zero, legendary songwriter Bruce Hornsby returns with another record, called Non-Secure Connection, coming August 14. In working with director Spike Lee on writing musical cues for his movies for 11 years, Hornsby found that he had leftover material that was just begging to be made into songs.
“I started going into this crazy mindset; this strange nether world of creativity,” says Hornsby. “And came out the other end with all this music that felt a little different than what I’d done before.”
An avid modern fiction reader, he cites some of his latest songwriting inspiration to the works of writers like David Foster Wallace and Don DeLillo. The breadth of the lyrics of Non-Secure Connection reflects this open-endedness, covering topics from AAU basketball to computer hackers.
“My Resolve,” sung with James Mercer of The Shins, describes the journey that is life as a creator: “I try to stand above the frame / Stand apart, not by it.” Along with Mercer, Hornsby calls upon collaborators from across the board like Vernon Reid, Jamila Woods, and Justin Vernon.
“It’s been a beautiful thing to step into these worlds, these younger musicians, and get a feeling for how they make records and how their creative process works,” says Hornsby.
Hornsby also opened up about another new track which features one of his musical heroes. The song “Anything Can Happen,” which Hornsby wrote for iconic rock pianist Leon Russell during a recording session in the early 90’s, was re-recorded starting from the demo the pair recorded original in 1992. The track is a testament to Hornsby’s valued presence in both younger and older generations of the music industry.
“I had a long, fruitful relationship with Leon and this was one of the high points, really,” says Hornsby. “And I wanted to bring it out and maybe see if I could really capture it more than we did 28 years ago.”