Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced their first album in six years, titled Unlimited Love, and ushered in the news by releasing the LP’s lead single, Black Summer.
Set to arrive on April 1, the studio effort will be the band’s first since 2016’s The Getaway, and their first since electric guitar master John Frusciante rejoined the band in December 2019.
The guitar great’s unmistakable influence can be felt within seconds of the new track. Black Summer – teased last week – is everything you’d expect a prime Chili Peppers track to be: the vibrato-drenched riff has Frusciante’s hands all over it, and boasts a boatload of Hendrix-esque decorative runs.
A fuzzy solo has also been thrown in for good measure, primed with silky runs that start in the lower register before migrating up the neck for a series of show-stopping scale licks. It’s RHCP to the core, and indicative of the band’s ability to stay true to their musical essence after all these years.
Accompanying the single is a music video directed by Deborah Chow, whose credits include The Mandalorian and Obi Wan Kenobi. You can watch said video, and hear the track, below.
A joint statement issued by the band’s current lineup – Anthony Keidis, Flea, Chad Smith and Frusciante – read, “Our only goal is to get lost in the music. We spent thousands of hours, collectively and individually, honing our craft and showing up for one another, to make the best album we could.
“Our antennae attuned to the divine cosmos,” they continued. “We were just so damn grateful for the opportunity to be in a room together, and, once again, try to get better. Days, weeks and months spent listening to each other, composing, jamming freely, and arranging the fruit of those jams with great care and purpose.
“The sounds, rhythms, vibrations, words and melodies had us enrapt. We yearn to shine a light in the world, to uplift, connect, and bring people together. Each of the songs on our new album Unlimited Love, is a facet of us, reflecting our view of the universe.”
Frusciante, who replaced the outgoing Josh Klinghoffer in 2019, added that the songwriting sessions were effortlessly fun, and were a testament to faith his band mates have in each other.
“When we got together to start writing material,” recalled Frusciante, “we began by playing old songs by people like Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, The Kinks, The New York Dolls, Richard Barrett and others.
“Ever so gradually, we started bringing in new ideas, and turning jams into songs, and after a couple of months the new stuff was all we were playing,” he continued. “The feeling of effortless fun we had when we were playing songs by other people stayed with us the whole time we were writing.
"For me, this record represents our love for, and faith in each other.”
Unlimited Love also marks the band’s first collaboration with longtime producer Rick Rubin since 2011. Rubin had previously worked with the band on Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), Californication (1999) and By The Way (2002).
The tracklist for Unlimited Love can be found below.
- Black Summer
- Here Ever After
- Aquatic Mouth Dance
- Not The One
- Poster Child
- The Great Apes
- It’s Only Natural
- She’s A Lover
- These Are The Ways
- Whatchu Thinkin’
- Bastards of Light
- White Braids & Pillow Chair
- One Way Traffic
- Let ‘Em Cry
- The Heavy Wing
The band will embark on a mammoth world tour this year in support of Unlimited Love, and will hit the road with The Strokes, HAIM, St. Vincent, Thundercat and more.
It will be RHCP's first tour with Frusciante since 2007, and will kick off in Seville, Spain, on June 4, before concluding in Arlington, Texas, on September 18.
For a full list of tour dates, visit Red Hot Chili Peppers' official website.
- Unlimited Love is available to preorder now via Warner Records ahead of its release on April 1.