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Adrian Belew drops energetic new single, a13

Adrian Belew playing guitar live
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty)

Adrian Belew – of David Bowie, Frank Zappa, King Crimson and Talking Heads guitar fame – has debuted his energetic new single, a13.

The track is taken from Belew’s upcoming album Elevator, which will be his 25th solo studio record and his first solely digital release. It will also be his first LP since signing with Bliss Entertainment/Ingrooves Music Group.

Bursting out the gates with an eerily dissonant chord strum, a13 wastes no time in introducing its upbeat hook, which first arrives courtesy of some punchy piano stabs that Belew decorates with his modulation-drenched electric guitar progressions.

Once the guitar begins to share melody duties, Belew doesn’t let up for the track’s entire three-minute-plus runtime, sporadically sprinkling a13 with a dusting of whammy-tinged six-string embellishments and off-kilter soundscapes.

And, to cap off the quintessential Belew display, the rock titan treats the final 60 seconds of a13 to a liquid-like guitar solo, laid-back interlude and a rip-roaring finale that culminates in the form of a descending lead guitar line and a dreamy open-chord strum.

Elevator, which hasn’t yet been given an official release date, will contain 12 new compositions written, recorded and produced by Belew. The album will also feature 38 of Belew’s most recent digital paintings, as well as lyrics to the songs.

Accompanying the album announcement is the news that Elevator will be released in conjunction with a US summer tour of North America. The tour will commence on July 13 at Turf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota, and conclude at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut. 

For the 25-date stint around the country, Belew will be joined by bass guitar player Julie Slick and drummer Johnnie Luca. The shows have been described by the guitarist as “part ‘classic’ power trio”, featuring “new power trio songs never performed before and a short solo acoustic performance”.

Aside from his solo activities, Belew will spend the latter half of 2022 touring with Todd Rundgren as part of the Celebrating David Bowie Live Show. Earlier this month, he also teamed up with Talking Heads guitarist Jerry Harrison to perform Remain In Light – the band’s 1980 studio album – at the Rites of Spring Festival.

According to Belew, Elevator will be released “closer to our tour”. For a full list of tour dates, visit Adrian Belew’s website.

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Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.