Jeff Slate Returns With “(Broken) Without You,” Featuring Dave Stewart and More From Fourth Album ‘The Last Day of Summer’

Love has a funny way of transitioning, sometimes as swiftly as the seasons come and go. It’s an unfortunate episode New York City singer and songwriter Jeff Slate chronicles on “(Broken) Without You,” the first single from his fourth solo album The Last Day of Summer (Schnitzel Records), out May 17.

Proving how capricious love can sometimes be, Slate tugs on some worn-out heartstrings just in time for Valentine’s Day, moving through the seasons of love, its memories, and lessons learned for a more iridescent heartland-brewed ballad: When winter comes, you will move on / When daylight comes, I will be gone … When your heart turns, I will be loved (You will be loved) / When springtime comes, I will be there.

The single, co-produced by Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, was one of the final songs Slate wrote for The Last Day of Summer. “Toward the end of the writing sessions, at my kitchen table, with a pen and paper and an acoustic guitar—very old school—I came up with the repeating verse pattern,” says Slate. “It felt very Smiths-y at the time. Jangly and summery and hopeful. But the words that came were quite the opposite, which felt somehow appropriate.”

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[RELATED: “Jeff Slate’s “Heartbreak,” Featuring Earl Slick, Duff McKagan, and More]

At first, Slate had the song archived away, labeled, “Folk” before building it in the studio with longtime collaborator guitarist Earl Slick (John Lennon, David Bowie), keyboardist Jody Bagley (Willie Chambers, Judy Collins), and a collective of musicians.

“[They] really help lift it from simple, acoustic ballad,” says Slate, “to something else entirely.”

As Slate was working on the song, he connected with Stewart who also added some bluesy swamp guitar and co-produced “(Broken) Without You (Dave Stewart Version),” out of his Bay Street Recording Studio in the Bahamas. “At just the right moment, the inimitable Dave Stewart came along and asked, ‘What are you working on? Would you like me to take a crack?’” shares Slate. “Dave’s ethereal flourishes on the guitar and his mix, which only someone who has topped the charts knows just how to achieve, were the icing on the cake.”

Along with Stewart, The Last Day of Summer, produced by Slate and longtime collaborator Eric Lichter, also boasts an all-star lineup of guests, including Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan on the lovelorn “Heartbreak,” a track Slate originally released in 2021, along with members of Paul Weller’s band, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and more.

[RELATED: American Songwriter Interview with Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart]

“I’ve made lots of albums during my years as a musician and songwriter, but for some reason, this one feels like the first,” shares Slate, who broke out on the New York City scene in the 1980s with his band Mindless Thinkers, before pursuing a solo career in the ’90s along with his work in the band The Badge.

He also co-authored the 2017 book The Authorized Roy Orbison and has also worked with a lengthy line of collaborations, including work with The Who‘s Pete Townshend, along with sharing the stage with everyone from Sheryl Crow, Willie Nile, Jeff Tweedy, Margo Price, and more.

Now three years since its inception, The Last Day of Summer is a different milestone for Slate. “Like my old band The Badge’s debut, it feels like a manifesto of sorts, as though everything I’ve ever wanted to say in a batch of songs is there,” he says.

Slate adds, “All artists rank their latest work as their favorite, but this record means so much to me, I can’t imagine it could ever be less than [the] most special–most life-affirming experience I’ve ever had in taking a bunch of loose, random ideas from the dark recesses of my mind, to my weird little notebook with the Chinese characters on the front, to the demos and sessions that, due to the pandemic lockdown, seemed to stretch on forever, and, finally, to the lovingly realized disc you now hold in your hand.”

Photos: Bob Gruen / Courtesy of Pavement PR

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