Initially available as a limited vinyl release for Record Store Day in 2014, this posthumous album from Gil Scott-Heron is now receiving a digital release and much wider distribution.
A collection of raw, simple, bare-bones vocals-and-piano reworkings of songs from his back catalogue, Nothing New was recorded in New York between 2005 and 2009, when Scott-Heron and producer Richard Russell were working on that late-period gem I’m New Here.
While the songs may not be the most familiar ones from his starry back pages, you couldn’t mistake Scott-Heron’s distinctive rasp for anyone else.
There’s a soulful purr and a rugged beauty to how the singer reworks tracks such as Your Daddy Loves You (from Winter In America) and Better Days Ahead (from 1978’s Secrets).
Given the singer’s death in 2011, Nothing New is an interesting curio to where his head was in those final years.