Robyn Hitchcock Returns With 'An Ecstatic Work Of Negativity' : All Songs Considered The U.K. singer-songwriter is set to return with his self-titled 21st album, his most rambunctious record in years. Hear "I Want To Tell You About What I Want."
NPR logo Robyn Hitchcock Returns With 'An Ecstatic Work Of Negativity'

Robyn Hitchcock Returns With 'An Ecstatic Work Of Negativity'

Robyn Hitchcock's self-titled 21st album comes out April 21. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Robyn Hitchcock's self-titled 21st album comes out April 21.

Courtesy of the artist

It's been 40 years since Robyn Hitchcock released his first recordings with the psychedelic pop band The Soft Boys, and more than 35 since his solo debut. In the decades since, he's recorded 21 hooky and playfully eccentric albums, and earned a reputation as one of the most prolific and wonderful stage-banterers in rock history. Now, at 63 — in time for album No. 21, the first to be titled simply Robyn Hitchcock — he sounds renewed, refreshed and irascibly rambunctious.

It helps that Hitchcock seems genuinely inspired: In a statement via email, he calls the new record "an ecstatic work of negativity" — which, come to think of it, would have been a pretty sweet title in its own right. He's announcing Robyn Hitchcock's release by sharing its pungently playful lead single, "I Want To Tell You About What I Want":

YouTube

Hitchcock writes via email:

"The original title of the song was 'My Vision Of World Empathy.' Either we will eventually become extinct and be replaced by cats with articulated thumbs who have evolved the way apes slowly evolved into us, or we will become empathic and mildly telepathic — people like Donald Trump won't happen because biologically no human will be born with that lack of empathy. We will become a species that isn't capable of bullying because we can feel what we're doing to other people. There is obviously some evolutionary step between the human and the angel that needs to take place. Maybe when we have enough suffering credits, our DNA will go, 'Right! Here we go! Homo angelicus — it can read your mind, it's compassionate, it can levitate and it's a great lover! It shares its fish sticks with you and flies you back in time to see The Velvet Underground!' That is what we need to become."

Robyn Hitchcock Track Listing:

1. I Want To Tell You About What I Want

2. Virginia Woolf

3. I Pray When I'm Drunk

4. Mad Shelley's Letterbox

5. Sayonara Judge

6. Detective Mindhorn

7. 1970 In Aspic

8. Raymond And The Wires

9. Autumn Sunglasses

10. Time Coast

Robyn Hitchcock comes out April 21 via Yep Roc.