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LISTEN: Bruce Springsteen Returns With 'Letter To You'

Bruce Springsteen released a new song Thursday morning called "Letter to You," the title track to an upcoming, 12-song album due out Oct. 23.

The album, produced by Springsteen and Ron Aniello, includes three songs that Springsteen wrote in the early 1970s and never released: "If I Was the Priest," "Song for Orphans" and "Janey Needs a Shooter."

In a press release, Springsteen described the recording session as "completely live in the studio, in a way we've never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I've ever had."

The song is in the classic E Street Band style: layered guitars, swirling organ, chiming piano and crashing drums. The lyrics are an impassioned description of a confessional moment: the singer on his knees, writing a letter to an unnamed recipient, written from a point of view of age and experience, expressing "all that I found true."

The official video features footage of the E Street Band recording at Springsteen's home studio in New Jersey.

In a conversation with Martin Scorsese in May 2019, Springsteen revealed that he had been struggling to write songs that felt appropriate for a rock band. "I've spent about seven years not writing anything for the band," he said. "And then about a month or so ago, I wrote almost an album's worth of material for the band ... it just came out of almost nowhere. I had almost two weeks of those daily visitations and it was so nice. It makes you so happy."

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Springsteen has used his SiriusXM radio channel as a creative outlet with "From My Home to Yours," a series of thematic DJ sets featuring a wide range of music and Springsteen occasionally reading from classic poetry and short essays that sound like material that was written for his 2016 memoir, Born to Run.

Letter To You Tracklist

1. One Minute You're Here

2. Letter To You

3. Burnin' Train

4. Janey Needs A Shooter

5. Last Man Standing

6. The Power Of Prayer

7. House Of A Thousand Guitars

8. Rainmaker

9. If I Was The Priest

10. Ghosts

11. Song For Orphans

12. I'll See You In My Dreams

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lauren Onkey is the Senior Director of NPR Music in Washington, DC. In this role, she leads NPR Music's team of journalists, critics, video, and podcast makers, and works with NPR's newsroom and robust Member station network to expand the impact of NPR Music and continue positioning public radio as an essential force in music.