Neil Young and Crazy Horse have shared ‘Timberline’, the second track from their forthcoming album Toast. A hard-rocking piece, it follows in the footsteps of May’s ‘Standing in the Light of Love’ and sounds akin to something you might find on either Zuma or Tonight’s the Night. It takes us right back to the days when Young was at his creative zenith.
Both tracks from the new album have been brilliant, and we’re hoping that the record, which was originally recorded in 2001 before being shelved, will represent another home run for the band, following the resounding success of December’s Barn.
On the track, the guitars are gritty, Young’s vocal delivery impassioned and the verse motif is one of his catchiest to date, meaning that Young touches on many of the key facets of his artistry, not to mention one hell of a key change when it comes to the chorus. Describing the album on his webstore as “heavy and distressed, brimming with electrifying tension”, this account captures the essence of the track perfectly.
Young first announced his plans to release Toast, which is named after the San Francisco studio where it was recorded, in a post on the Neil Young Archives at the end of May. Although the post was swiftly deleted, the record is scheduled for release this Friday, July 8th via Reprise.
Young explained that the album was “so sad at the time that I couldn’t put it out,” adding of ‘Timberline’: “The scene changes to a religious guy who just lost his job. He’s turning on Jesus. He can’t cut any more trees. He’s a logger”.
Per the blogpost by Young, Toast is “an album that stands on its own in [his] collection”. In May’s blog post he said: “Unlike any other, ‘Toast’ was so sad that I couldn’t put it out. I just skipped it and went on to do another album in its place. I couldn’t handle it at that time. 2001.”
He revealed that Toast is “about a relationship”, exploring the point it soured before its dissolution. Young continued: “There is a time in many relationships that go bad, a time long before the break up, where it dawns on one of the people, maybe both, that it’s over. This was that time.”
The musician concluded: “The sound is murky and dark, but not in a bad way. Fat. From the first note, you can feel the sadness that permeates the recording… These songs paint a landscape where time doesn’t matter – because everything is going south. A lady is lost in her car. The dark city surrounds her – past present and future. It’s a scary place. You be the judge.”
Listen to ‘Timberline’ below.