Today, diamond-selling, chart-topping alternative music force AWOLNATION released an epic reimagining of Scorpion’s 1991 rock classic “Wind of Change,” featuring two very special guests: Grammy-winning artist Portugal. The Man and Brandon Boyd, frontman of the multi-platinum band Incubus. It arrives just one day after the original version’s 31st anniversary (first released January 20, 1991). The track, a Better Noise Music release, serves as the first official offering from AWOLNATION’s upcoming album My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers and Me, which is set for a May 6, 2022 global release. The album is a fiercely collaborative and celebratory project, a collection of masterfully crafted and carefully curated covers, with each track featuring at least one acclaimed musical artist with whom AWOLNATION’s mastermind Aaron Bruno has a personal connection. The track listing will be revealed in full in the coming weeks. For now, fans can stream, download or purchase “Wind of Change (featuring Portugal. The Man and Brandon Boyd)” across platforms here
Accompanying today’s release of the song, AWOLNATION unveiled a striking visual. Directed by Amalia Irons, the music video’s imagery embodies waves of nostalgia, weaving together different scenes that explore the full spectrum of how the passing of time impacts everyone. Watch Now
The song and the visual mark the start of the project’s mission: to illustrate the mental health benefits from music and connection within the artist community. Bruno will be tackling this subject head on in a series of in-depth conversations with his collaborators throughout the album’s campaign.
Earlier this month, on New Year’s Day, Bruno took to social media to tease the project, along with additional new original music later this year, writing: “Happy new year Nation! I’ve always wanted to do a covers record full of fun and surprises, so I did just that, and it’s finally coming out ... first single this month. I reached out to different artists and friends to sing on it, and most agreed to join haha! Can anyone guess who’s on it ? Or which songs I chose??? Oh, and a new original album to follow. Thank you for your patience and love. Let’s lift each other up!!!”
Specifically on today’s release, Bruno said in a statement: “I’ve known Brandon for awhile and he's been good to me over the years of being in this industry. The guys from Portugal. The Man feel like brothers from a hardcore band we would be in in another lifetime. This is such a massive song that I thought I’d swing for the fences. ALSO, did the CIA really write it???”
The last bit refers to the acclaimed 2020 Spotify podcast Wind of Change, the premise of which reads” Journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor: the song [“Wind of Change”] wasn’t written by the Scorpions. It was written by the CIA. This is his journey to find the truth.” The song has since resurged as a hot topic of conversation in the pop culture zeitgeist.
John Gourley, frontman of Portugal. The Man said of the collaboration, This song marks a very significant point in my childhood. My dad pulled me to the TV in 1989 to watch the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was the first time I truly became aware of the world around me. We wrote a song about that experience called ‘1989’ Like many others, ‘Wind Of Change’ sticks to that memory for me.”
Boyd added, “This track has been drifting around in my headspace since I first heard it as a kid in the 1990s. It never occurred to me that it would be a great song to cover until Aaron suggested it for his project. The deal was doubly sweetened when he told me John from Portugal. The Man would be joining us as well. I’m thrilled to be part of it!”
As for Bruno, he is coming off last year’s 10th anniversary celebration of his platinum debut album Megalithic Symphony which was notably marked by the rare and prestigious DIAMOND certification for the album’s smash single “Sail.” AWOLNATION is currently working on a new album of original music, which will be the follow-up to 2020’s ANGEL MINERS & THE LIGHTNING RIDERS
. Featuring the hit single “The Best” and collaborations with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, the album was the band’s first after signing to Better Noise Music and was praised by both critics and fans upon release. ABOUT AWOLNATION
Since its formation by multi-talented musician and songwriter Aaron Bruno in 2010, AWOLNATION has redefined alternative music. With multiple radio hits at the alternative format, including 8 Top Fives and 2 Number Ones, the act has inarguably already made a permanent mark, not just in their genre, but across modern music. Most notably, the chart-topping, record-breaking, diamond-certified track “Sail” created a reference soundscape for a myriad of hits in the last decade. That song launched a career that already spans four albums. Megalithic Symphony, the platinum debut LP that slo produced the gold certified “Not Your Fault” and two other Top 10 US singles. Sophomore album Run arrived in 2015, and the follow-up, Here Come The Runts, came in 2018. Then entering a creative partnership with current label Better Noise music, the band’s fourth full-length album, ANGEL MINERS & THE LIGHTNING RIDERS, featuring the hit single “The Best,” was released on April 24, 2020, and features collaborations with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. In their positive review of the project, AllMusic calls it, “an energetic, fun, and compulsively listenable set that distills the best of what AWOLNATION can do: making pop-savvy, dance-friendly, alternative rock anthems that are not bound to traditional genre conventions.”
That boundary breaking of genres continued in Bruno’s creative calling, even more so as the world shut down in 2020. While quarantining, Bruno had the idea to celebrate music unapologetically with a team of talented friends - new and old. The result is the upcoming album My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers and Me, a collection of unexpected yet passionately crafted covers and collaborations. Launched with the first single in January 2022, a powerful rendition of “Winds of Change,” featuring Portugal the Man and Brandon Boyd of Incubus, the project offers a sonic experience that takes listeners inward on a retrospective journey and outward on a collective celebration. The homage paid to each song’s original artist is just as fun to dive into as the mutual respect heard in every note from both AWOLNATION and guests. Website
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