Jackson Browne has announced his new album Downhill from Everywhere. It’s out July 23 via his own Inside Recordings, and to herald its coming, Browne has shared a music video for the lead single “My Cleveland Heart” that shows Phoebe Bridgers having a bloody good time.
For now, few details are known about Downhill from Everywhere, except that pre-orders will start his Friday, May 21st. But Browne did say in a statement on his website that the album had a recurring theme of inclusion. “There’s a deep current of inclusion running through this record,” he said. “I think that idea of inclusion, of opening yourself up to people who are different than you — that’s the fundamental basis for any kind of understanding in this world.”
On that note, “My Cleveland Heart” finds the narrator close to his breaking point, ready to swap out his overly-tender cardiovascular system with something more mechanically robust. “But I expect the real changes to start,” he sings, “When I finally get my Cleveland Heart/ They’re made to take a bashin’/ And never lose their passion.” It’s to Browne’s credit that the process sounds less than appealing; listeners can sympathize with the desire while feeling a certain revulsion at the process. He explains, “They never break/ They don’t even beat/ And they don’t ache/ They just plug in and shine.”
The music video was directed by Alissa Torvinen, who caught Browne’s attention with her video for Phoebe Bridger’s “I Know the End”. Torvinen’s latest visuals show Browne in the hospital set to receive a heart transplant, trading in his old meaty unit for something shiny and new. While it initially fails, the hospital staff plug in their instruments and start to rock, which manages to provide the spark that modern medicine could not. Meanwhile, a nurse played by Bridgers sneaks off with the old model, and the camera catches her post-bite, with blood dribbling out of her mouth.
“I thought it was really appropriate to take out my worn-out, useless heart and hand it to Phoebe,” Browne told Rolling Stone. “Who better to hand [it] to than somebody young, strong, and possibly as cynical as me?”
This is just the latest crossing of paths of the 72-year-old Browne and the 26-year-old Brigers. The junior songwriter has long named the senior as one of her greatest influences, and the pair collaborated earlier this year on a new version of Bridgers’ “Kyoto”. In March, Browne’s Late for the Sky (1974) was archived in the Library of Congress, and shortly thereafter he announced rescheduled dates for his tour with James Taylor, which had to be cancelled because of the pandemic and Browne’s own bout with COVID-19. Tickets are available here.