In a news release, Costello said “Paint the Red Rose Blue” compares to “painting a melancholy blue over the red of romance.” You can listen it below.
The forthcoming album, Costello’s fourth with the Imposters, has been described as an upbeat affair. “I started The Boy Named If with just an electric guitar, some sharps and flats, high heels and lowdowns, with five songs in bright major keys,” Costello earlier told Spin, then “carried on to write a whole new record for the Imposters to play.”
The newest single, however, is heavy and introspective. As Costello tells Rolling Stone, it’s the “account of someone who has long-courted theatrical darkness, only for its violence and cruelty to become all too real. In its wake, a bereft couple learn to love again.”
The Boy Named If arrives on Jan. 14. The full title of the record, according to Costello, is actually The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories). “‘If’ is a nickname for your imaginary friend,” he told Spin, “your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own.”
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