As a teen, Richard Thompson was already making indelible music as part of Fairport Convention, and his career since has been massively varied and influential. Songs he wrote in various incarnations—with Fairport, with Linda Thompson, as a solo artist—have been lauded and covered by a who’s who of music, from R.E.M. to The Pointer Sisters. At 66, Thompson is not just coasting, but thriving: His new album Still—due out June 23—was recorded at Wilco’s Chicago loft, with Jeff Tweedy producing and providing audio texture. We’ve got an exclusive listen to “Broken Doll,” with a quick set up from Thompson himself. Enjoy.
“‘Broken Doll’ deals with characters with mental illness. Jeff Tweedy overdubbed some elements that add to the sense of unease on the track—notably a Marxophone, a Victorian instrument that gives a hammered dulcimer-like sound, and a chromatic and dissonant organ, which is swirling in the background.”