90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, March 7, 2013

Billy Bragg Gets Personal In New Album

Billy Bragg performs at South by Southwest music festival in 2008. (Kris Krug/Wikimedia Commons)

Billy Bragg performs at South by Southwest music festival in 2008. (Kris Krug/Wikimedia Commons)

Englishman Billy Bragg has long been known for his political, often left-leaning songs. But he also writes many songs about love and troubled relationships.

A fan has dubbed Bragg the “Sherpa of Heartbreak,” and Bragg accepts the title.

“It sort of made me think of someone who was trying to get over the hill of heartbreak, if you will, and my songs kind of helping them do the heavy lifting,” Bragg told Here & Now.

On his new album “Tooth & Nail,” which is out later this month, many songs mine that territory.

“Swallow my Pride” is about the struggles to maintain a long-term relationship, Bragg said. And in “Handyman Blues,” he sings of his complete inability to fix anything around the house, though he is able to write songs about his love for longtime partner Juliet Wills.

The album was also his way back into making records after a longtime absence, Bragg said.

This is his first new studio album in five years. In the interim, his mother died, which made him take stock of his life.

“I needed to focus on something, I needed to grasp onto something, commit to something,” he said. “The record became my way of getting past that, of coming out the other side of it, coming up for air.”

Music video for “No One Knows Nothing Anymore” off the new album:

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 20 3 Comments

The Man Behind ‘Mockingjay’

Francis Lawrence describes the rewards and challenges of bringing "The Hunger Games" books to the screen.

November 20 Comment

Iraq War Vet Wins National Book Award For Fiction

The judges described the short stories in Phil Klay's collection "Redeployment" as brutal, piercing and sometimes darkly funny.

November 19 10 Comments

New Film Revisits The Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Case

The Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, but that's not the end of the story.

November 19 219 Comments

Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?

Edward Baptist argues in his new book that slavery was integral to establishing the America as a world economic power.