Yes guitarist Steve Howe will release his new solo studio album ‘Love Is’ on Friday 31st July via BMG Records.
Aside from the fifth and sixth instalments of Steve Howe’s ‘Homebrew’ album franchise, which came out in 2013 and 2016, ‘Love Is’ is Howe’s first ‘proper’ solo album since the all-instrumental ‘Time’ back in 2011.
In the works for several years, ‘Love Is’ boasts 10 all-new tracks – five instrumental songs and five songs featuring vocals.
As well as writing, engineering and producing ‘Love Is’, Steve Howe sings lead vocals and plays electric, acoustic and steel guitars, keyboards, percussion and bass guitar on the instrumentals.
Current Yes vocalist Jon Davison also sings vocal harmonies and plays bass guitar on the vocal tracks, while Steve’s son, Dylan Howe, performs drums on the album.
‘Love Is’ will be available to buy on CD (gatefold digi-sleeve with 12-page booklet) and LP (Black vinyl 180gm with gatefold sleeve, liner notes and lyrics). You can pre-order it on Steve Howe’s official website now.
“I called the album Love Is because it hints at the central idea that that love is important but also love of the universe and the ecology of the world is very important,” comments Steve Howe.
“Alexander Humboldt went around the world and recognised we are destroying the planet but that was 200 years ago! We are still destroying the planet and, I suppose, my songs show the yearning I have for the love of nature and how beauty, art and music all stem from nature. There is a theme about those things, love, beauty, ecology, nature and wonderful people.”
Reflecting upon the extended fourth track ‘Love Is A River’, which features several textural shifts and a theme played on 12 string and steel guitars, Howe continued: “Love Is A River just seemed a very important track to me, a sort of quintessential track with lots of moods, lots of interesting things going on with steel guitars and acoustic guitars. Further tracks grew from time spent writing in my studio.
“See Me Through looks at the idea that we get through life by not driving ourselves that hard but attempting to achieve things with people who help you along the way and Imagination is dedicated to my granddaughter Zuni. It’s about how I see some of the things she’s experienced in her short seven years.”
“I invited Jon Davison to sing harmonies with me and add bass on the songs. If he was singing on the songs I thought why doesn’t he play bass as well and it turned out nice. He’s been with Yes for seven or eight years and he’s a great guy, great performer and a great interpreter of Yes songs.
“I’ve been singing for years, mainly in harmony but I’ve sung lead on lots of my own albums before and I feel that, as I’ve got older, I’ve got a grip on that and, hopefully, it’s improved over the years.”
Turning his attention to the instrumentals, Howe adds: “The instrumentals are like a mood, a place I went to one day, thought this is nice and then I develop that to a point where it’s a finished track. There might be key ingredients that I thought about using musically that I like, that I’m drawn to, and then developing them into something.”
The ‘Love Is’ track-listing is as follows:
1) Fulcrum (instrumental)
2) See Me Through
3) Beyond The Call (instrumental)
4) Love Is A River
5) Sound Picture (instrumental)
6) It Ain’t Easy
7) Pause For Thought (instrumental)
9) The Headlands (instrumental)