Alt-country vet Thad Cockrell has been making music for over 20 years, with solo albums dating back to the early 2000s (when he was signed to Yep Roc and regularly recording with Chris Stamey of The dB's and members of Whiskeytown) and more recent music with his band Leagues. He hadn't released a solo album since 2009's To Be Loved, but Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard coaxed his solo career out of hibernation and showed his new demos to ATO Records, who will release Thad's first solo album in 11 years, If In Case You Feel The Same, on June 26.

The album was produced by industry veteran Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, The Replacements, many others), mixed and engineered by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, The War On Drugs, many others), and features Brittany Howard (vocals), Blake Mills (guitar), Chris Dave (drums), Matt Chamberlain (drums), Ethan Gruska (piano, synths), and Ian Fitchuk (multiple instruments). We're premiering new single "Higher," a triumphant, retro-soul song that features the soaring guest vocals of Brittany Howard. He and Brittany sound great together, as you can hear for yourself below. Here's more on how Thad and Brittany linked up:

An ardent fan of the Alabama Shakes frontwoman, Cockrell first linked up with Howard thanks to a wholly unexpected introduction from his dear friend, singer/songwriter Becca Mancari. “I never wanted Becca to feel like a pass-through, so I put it out into the universe that if I was meant to meet Britt, it would just happen someday,” says Cockrell. One very late night while hanging out with Howard, Mancari shared some recordings of Cockrell’s songs, which then prompted Howard to hijack Mancari’s phone and send Cockrell a text professing her love for his music. “Twenty minutes later they’re walking into my house, and I’m making mezcal margaritas and playing Britt songs from the new album,” says Cockrell. “At some point she said me, ‘I never like anything, but I love all of this.’” Soon enough, Howard had sent Cockrell’s demos to ATO Records general manager Jon Salter, thus paving the way for his signing to the label.

And here's what Thad tells us about "Higher":

I wrote "Higher" in one of the most difficult times in my life, and I started thinking about how you never hear songs about showing gratitude for difficult things. It became a song about being grateful for the defeat, the heartbreak, the sadness. It could be directed to a higher power, but to me it’s more about lifting each other up on a human-to-human level.


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