Back in March, A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel offered up his first-ever song under his own name, "Poison Flowers." It had been 14 long years since he released any solo music — specifically, his 2008 debut album as Ashes Divide — but this was something different. Still ethereal and brooding. But more New Wave and trip-hop-influenced. With serious Depeche Mode vibes.
Today (May 12th), he followed the song up with "Free and Weightless," the second single off his upcoming solo album, What Normal Was, due out June 10th via Alchemy Recordings/Rise Records/BMG. Like its predecessor, it showcases Howerdel's skill in creating smoke-shrouded, neon-lit atmosphere. Listen above via the song's official visualizer video.
"'Free and Weightless' stood on its own as an instrumental demo for a year before I cracked the code on the vocals," Howerdel commented. "It was built out of a rolling collage of loops, which isn't something I would normally do. Thematically, everything on this record is pointed at personal relationships. The songs are a combination of a few conversations happening in a split-screen point-of-view. No one story is ever completely singular. It's like patchwork."
In addition to the new album, Howerdel has an extensive North American tour ahead of him, including two shows with his APC bandmate Maynard James Keenan's art-rock troupe Puscifer: June 12th at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and July 1st at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre in Rochester Hills, Michigan. For dates and tickets, visit BillyHowerdel.com.