Elvis Costello & The Imposters Learn to Love Again on New Single, “Paint the Red Rose Blue”

On Friday (Dec. 10), Elvis Costello (joined by his trusty band, The Imposters) unveiled his latest single: “Paint the Red Rose Blue.”

Videos by American Songwriter

Coming ahead of Costello’s new record, The Boy Named If—due January 14, 2022—the single is an introspective slow-burn, featuring a flowing melody sung tenderly by Costello. In his words, the song is “the account of someone who has long-courted theatrical darkness, only for its violence and cruelty to become all too real. In its wake, a bereft couple learn to love again, painting a melancholy blue over the red of romance.”

The forthcoming record itself—with the full title, The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories)—is set to be an exciting new chapter in Costello’s colorful, decades-long career. “‘IF,’ is a nickname for your imaginary friend,” he said in a statement about the album. “Your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own. You can hear more about this ‘Boy’ in a song of the same name.”

“Paint the Red Rose Blue” is the second single from Boy Named If—the first release was “Magnificent Hurt,” a sizzling rock tune grounded by a smokey backbeat and an irresistibly blistering organ countermelody.

You can pre-order Boy Named If HERE and follow more American Songwriter coverage of Elvis Costello HERE.

Photo by Mark Seliger / Shore Fire Media

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