Elvis Costello – “Phonographic Memory”

Elvis Costello is releasing a new album, Hey Clockface, at the end of October. The album was recorded in Helsinki, Paris, and New York earlier this year, and so far we’ve heard three songs that are on it: “No Flag,” “Hetty O’Hara Confidential,” and “We Are All Cowards Now.” Today, Costello is sharing a new song that doesn’t appear on the official tracklist. Instead, it’s the digital B-side to his most recent single, “We Are All Cowards Now.”

It’s called “Phonographic Memory” and it’s less a proper song and more of a short story. The story involves a ceremony presided over by someone called “President Swift,” and it incorporates an archival recording of Orson Welles’ voice. The track also has some guitar tunings in the background.

Here’s an excerpt: “After the peace was negotiated and the internet switched off, knowledge returned to its medieval cloister, in this and that illuminated volume, the jealous possession of the pious and the superstitious, who might once again wield ignorance like a scythe.”

Check it out below.

Hey Clockface is out 10/30 via Concord Records.