Brian Wilson has shared more details about the solo album he revealed last month. Speaking to Rolling Stone, the Beach Boys frontman said he was busy working on new material for the band when Mike Love decided to back out of their 2012 reunion tour.
“It was a shock,” Wilson explained. “I was so proud of how the Boys were singing. Then it just ended. I was writing for the Boys, so I thought, ‘What am I gonna do without them?’”
Easy; Wilson picked up the pieces and recruited some young blood to propel his pop songs into this century. While the Frank Ocean-featuring “Special Love” may not make the final cut, tracks featuring vocals from Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves, Zooey Deschanel, and fun. singer Nate Ruess are looking quite likely. This despite Wilson’s taskmaster tendencies in the studio. Or as his manager put it, “Kacey said, ‘Boy, he really tells you when he doesn’t like your pitch.’” To which Wilson responded, “When it’s good it’s good, when it’s not – do it again. But after three tries, Kacey nailed it. I like the way she just slides over the notes – she has a very cool sound.”
Another key contributor to the record was Blue Note president Don Was, who plays bass throughout. He said he “got really choked up” during the sessions for “Last Song,” a Del Rey-backed ballad that co-producer Joe Thomas said “started out being about lost love” but ended up being about the Beach Boys split.
“There’s something about Brian signing off with it, saying, ‘This is it, this is my last song,’” Was explained. “It’s really intense. If ‘Last Song’ turned out to be his last song, can you imagine? Wow. That’d be some coda.”