Dan Auerbach is doing something a bit unconventional for his next release. In between his time with the Black Keys and writing a seemingly endless amount of material with the Arcs, he’s found the time to compose an album that will accompany a new comic book mini-series called Murder Ballads, which its publisher describes as a “rock ’n’ roll noir story about the music industry and redemption.”
Auerbach enlisted a number of musicians to perform the songs, including the Dirtbombs and the Gories’ Mick Collins, and all of the songs will draw from characters and plot points in the comic. Murder Ballads, which is being written by Gabe Soria (who also does some music writing) and illustrated by Paul Reinwand, is inspired by country-blues culture.
“I wasn’t so much into comics, but where we kind of met up was on the music front,” Auerbach explained to Vulture. “We were kind of addicted to records, and that’s how we bonded early on. It was pretty fully formed in Gabe’s mind. The music that he was talking about seemed — well, I could wrap my mind around it. He knew I was really big into northern Mississippi music, so I understood the reference points when he was talking to me about it.”
According to Auerbach, the album will be “shorter than a double LP and longer than eight minutes.” The comic and accompanying soundtrack is due out in fall 2016.