The first thing you need to know about Bruce Springsteen’s newest song, “Hello Sunshine,” is that it’s all Bruce and no E Street Band. There’s no signature wailing sax or frantic rock ’n’ roll guitar chords on this tune which dropped Thursday at midnight. The Boss has gone a bit country and Western in his latest effort.
A statement released about the song, the first single from Springsteen’s upcoming album, “Western Stars,” out June 14, says he’s taken “inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ’60s and early ’70s.”
The 3 minute and 57 second song begins with the soft rat-a-tat of a snare drum beat – a little Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”-like. Then comes Bruce singing “Had enough of heartbreak and pain//I had a little sweet spot for the rain. For the rain and skies of gray//hello sunshine won’t you stay.”
There are strings, and a lot of pedal steel guitar. At times, you could imagine the Eagles singing the song.
And at other times, it’ll remind you of the great Harry Nilsson song “Everybody’s Talkin’.”
There’s a certain sorrow in the lyrics – lot’s of “lonely town,” “empty road” references. And Springsteen brings a mournfulness to his vocals.
“Hello Sunshine” certainly won’t have anyone Dancing in the Dark.
And despite desert scenes in the lyric video released with the song, Springsteen can’t forget his Garden State roots. The vintage EL Camino riding down a desert road has Jersey plates.
And he recorded most of the upcoming album at is home studio in New Jersey, which last we checked was not even in Western New Jersey.