Bob Dylan has a new album coming out on April 28th called Together Through Life. “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” is one of the featured tracks on the blues heavy record.
The Los Angeles Times says of the song, “There’s something Leonard Cohen-esque about Dylan’s lyric, which is deeply existential and exceedingly debonair.” The Times also mentions that David Hildago’s accordion is “Dylan’s muse” on this song and throughout the album.
As part of the publicity for Together Through Life, Dylan engaged in a Q+A with Bill Flanagan. Here’s an excerpt:
BF: The new record’s very different from Modern Times which was a number one hit. It seems like every time you have a big hit, the next time out you change things around. Why don’t you try to milk it a little bit?
Dylan: I think we milked it all we could on that last record and then some. We squeezed the cow dry. All the Modern Times songs were written and performed in the widest range possible so they had a little bit of everything. These new songs have more of a romantic edge.
BF: How so?
These songs don’t need to cover the same ground. The songs on Modern Times songs brought my repertoire up to date, and the light was directed in a certain way. You have to have somebody in mind as an audience otherwise there’s no point.
BF: What do you mean by that?
There didn’t seem to be any general consensus among my listeners. Some people preferred my first period songs. Some, the second. Some, the Christian period. Some, the post Colombian. Some, the Pre-Raphaelite. Some people prefer my songs from the nineties. I see that my audience now doesn’t particular care what period the songs are from. They feel style and substance in a more visceral way and let it go at that. Images don’t hang anybody up. Like if there’s an astrologer with a criminal record in one of my songs it’s not going to make anybody wonder if the human race is doomed. Images are taken at face value and it kind of freed me up.
How odd it must be to have poetic visions as insanely beautiful as Dylan’s and be asked to explain them to people, as if explaining them is entirely possible and even the courteous thing to do.