On Wednesday, beloved English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg put out a moving new single, “I Will Be Your Shield.” The release came along with the announcement of The Million Things That Never Happened, Bragg’s 10th studio album, due out on October 8.
“To me this ‘I Will Be Your Shield’ is the heart and soul of the album,” Bragg said in a press statement. “I’ve come to the conclusion that empathy is the currency of music—that our job as songwriters is to help people come to terms with their feelings by offering them examples of how others may have dealt with a situation similar to that in which listeners find themselves. After what we’ve all been through, the idea of being a shield, physically, emotionally, psychologically, really resonates.”
Augmenting Bragg’s sentiment, the music to “I Will Be Your Shield” is aptly powerful. Led by a soulful piano and padded with subtle string lines, the song is a heartfelt ballad—Bragg’s voice, carrying years of hard-earned wisdom, shares a message of hope, strength and healing.
Produced by Romeo Stodart and Dave Izumi at Echo Zoo studio in Eastbourne, England, The Million Things That Never Happened features 12 new tracks penned by Bragg (and one track co-written with his son, Jack Valero). On September 9—one month before the album’s release—Bragg will also drop Billy Bragg On… a virtual concert experience which will feature songs from The Millions Things That Never Happened as well as gems from throughout his illustrious career. The experience will also come with on-demand bonus features, extra performances, interviews, an in-depth look at the new album and more. Plus, proceeds will be going to Music Venue Trust, a charity that Bragg has supported for quite some time.
“Billy Bragg has been an active patron of Music Venue Trust for several years, helping connect his fans with our work and eloquently expressing why Grassroots Music Venues are so vital to artists,” said Beverley Whitrick, the strategic director at Music Venue Trust. “We are grateful to Billy and his team for continuing to be passionate about supporting the charity and our venue community.”
Billy Bragg’s new album The Million Things That Never Happened is out October 8—watch the album trailer below: