The Gaslight Anthem are emerging from a nearly decade-long recording hiatus on October 27 with the release of their sixth album, History Books. Bruce Springsteen joins them on the tittle track, which you can hear right now.
“When Bruce Springsteen said I should write a duet for us, I think my head exploded,” Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon says in a statement. “It will never get old to me that one of the greatest songwriters in the world, and one of my hero’s voices, will forever be captured in a song I wrote at a small wooden desk, in October, in New Jersey.”
The Gaslight Anthem went on hiatus in 2015 after wrapping up a tour in support of 2014’s Get Hurt, their most recent album to date. “We’d like to recharge and take a step back until we have something we feel excited about rather than going right back to making a record just for the sake of making the next record,” the band wrote in a statement. “We all feel this is the best decision we can make and it feels like the right one for us.”
They remerged in the summer of 2018 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their 2008 album The ’59 Sound with a brief tour, but no material arrived, and Fallon remained focused on his solo career. He released four solo albums between 2016 and 2022 and toured all over the world. But the Gaslight Anthem returned to the road in 2022 and began working on new songs with producer Peter Katis.
“When you have a band reach any level of success or popularity, that’s a gift,” Fallon said in a statement. “It’s truly a miracle to be able to do your art for a living. Having the band come this far and be able to still find inspiration and connection in our music is a treasure. We’re thrilled to be back, and we thank our fans for allowing us time to regroup.”
According to Fallon, the album won’t be a huge stylistic departure from their classic work. “None of us wanted to make a very somber or serious record showing how much we’ve matured,” Fallon said. “We’ve all changed and grown and learned so much, but the overall mood was a feeling of excitement to be back together and making music that means something to us.”
The band’s relationship with Bruce Springsteen goes back to 2009 when he joined them onstage at Glastonbury to perform their song “The ’59 Sound.” That same night, Springsteen invited Fallon out during his headlining set with the E Street Band to sing “No Surrender.”
Several critics drew comparisons between the Gaslight Anthem and Springsteen in the band’s early days. “There’s so much else that we look at for our sound and influences that you don’t want to be notched in with one guy,” Fallon told Billboard in 2010. “There’s a lot of things he does that I admire. We come from a lot of the same places but a lot of different places, too. But at the same time, that’s a good thing to be compared to. I think it’s one of those things we’re gonna have to wear until it wears out.”
Here is the complete track listing for History Books.
1. Spider Bites
2. History Books (feat. Bruce Springsteen)
4. Positive Charge
5. Michigan, 1975
6. Little Fires
7. The Weatherman
9. I Live In The Room Above Her
10. A Lifetime Of Preludes