“‘The 13th Apostle,’ to me, represents anyone who feels like a black sheep,” says McConnell. “He/she is only the ‘outcast’ because they can’t or won’t fall in line with something they don’t believe, yet they still love the baby despite the bath water.”
Adds The Wood Brothers’ Oliver Wood, “I’ve always known Sean to be an incredibly smart and soulful songwriter, but he’s really taken it up a notch and his voice is stronger than ever. Excited about this record and honored to be included.”
A sought-after songsmith and versatile producer, McConnell examines both the frailty and strength of the human spirit through A Horrible Beautiful Dream‘s 13 songs, all born during the pandemic. In addition to The Wood Brothers, the new collection features guests and collaborators Fancy Hagood, Natalie Hemby, Audra Mae and Dan Tyminski.
“Time seems to breed creativity, especially when there’s very little else going on,” McConnell says of the slowdown brought about by the events of 2020. “This period has forced everybody, internally and externally, globally and socially, to take a good look at our lives and examine it.
“Everything from our marriages to our workout routines, social injustice to planet politics and religion, spirituality and our internal environment… everything has come to the surface,” McConnell notes. “It’s been the tipping point of so many things right now, so obviously that bleeds over into art and music.”
A voracious creator, McConnell produced records for four other artists out of his studio while producing A Horrible Beautiful Dream, all during the destabilising chaos of 2020. He penned 11 of the album’s 13 tracks on his own (and co-wrote the two others).
A Horrible Beautiful Dream track listing:
1. I Still Believe In You
2. Price of Love
3. The 13th Apostle (feat. The Wood Brothers)
4. Nothing Anymore
5. The Wonder Years
6. What The Hell Is Wrong With Me (feat. Fancy Hagood)
7. Waiting To Be Moved (feat. Natalie Hemby)
8. I Built You Up
9. Used To Think I Knew
10. Leave The Light On
11. Getting Somewhere
12. As The Curtain Came Down (feat. Audra Mae & Dan Tyminski)
13. Remember You’re Here
Pre-save A Horrible Beautiful Dream HERE.
ABOUT SEAN MCCONNELL:
GRAMMY-nominated singer, songwriter and producer Sean McConnell’s latest collection of songs, A Horrible Beautiful Dream, approaches the difficult task of asking questions of what one really thinks they know, in the simultaneous struggle of not being afraid of the answers that emerge. Musically, the project wraps McConnell’s rich voice in moments of dark intimacy as well as vivid brightness, and guests such as The Wood Brothers, Natalie Hemby, Audra Mae and Dan Tyminski underscore McConnell’s versatility as creative partner and commentator. McConnell’s goal in the creation of A Horrible Beautiful Dream was an album reflecting the chaotic time in which it was made, but still striving for timelessness. “You can look at the suffering of the world and you can look at the beauty of the world and you can hold them in your hands and just be present with that and not have to even understand it,” he says. A Horrible Beautiful Dream follows McConnell’s Secondhand Smoke (2019). A revered songwriter and producer, McConnell has written for Christina Aguilera, Michael Franti, Brett Young (including Young’s double-platinum hit “Mercy”), Tim McGraw, Brothers Osborne, Ashley Ray’s critically acclaimed (Stereogum‘s #8 Best Country Album of 2020, NPR’s #26 Top Album of 2020) Pauline — which he co-wrote and produced — and more.