The Pretenders return with the announcement of Relentless, their fourteenth studio album, due for release September 1 via Parlophone.
Relentless is a clearly defined snapshot of where The Pretenders are in 2023. Arriving with the impulsiveness and attitude that at once defines the band’s eternal spirit, brand new single “Let The Sun Come In” is also released today, following a premiere on the BBC Radio 2 Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.
Hear the new single in the player below.
The Pretenders – “Let the Sun Come In” (Official Audio)
Speaking about the album title, Chrissie Hynde said:
“I enjoy seeing the various meanings and origins of a word. And I liked the definition: “showing no abatement of intensity.” It’s the life of the artist. You never retire. You become relentless.”
The news arrives as The Pretenders look ahead to a massive summer of live performances. Tomorrow night, Friday, May 12, the band will unleash new songs from Relentless as they headline Brighton’s Great Escape Festival, starting a sold-out tour of very special exclusive club shows visiting some of the UK and Ireland’s most intimate venues.
On June 30, The Pretenders will join Guns N’ Roses as special guests at London’s BST Hyde Park, and at huge outdoor shows in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands, before headline performances at summer festivals including Midnight Sun, Bearded Theory, Black Deer and Kite. In October, the band will land in America to play Ohana Festival in California, by invitation of Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl. More 2023 live activity is soon to be announced.
Relentless is the second consecutive Pretenders album to be written as a collaboration between Chrissie Hynde and the band’s resident guitar hero, James Walbourne. Especially sought after in his own right, having recorded with Dave Gahan, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Rails, amongst many more.
Speaking about the Hynde/Walbourne songwriting process, Chrissie Hynde said:
“We had developed this method of working remotely, and it seemed like we just kept on doing it for this album. This is something that we’ve honed down to an art in the last few years. He always comes up with something I wouldn’t have thought of myself, and I love surprises.”
Produced by David Wrench and recorded at Battery Studios in West London, the album’s 12 tracks feature what Hynde describes as “The Pretenders Collective.” This extended band features James Walbourne (guitars), Kris Sonne (drums), Chris Hill (double bass), Dave Page (bass) and Carwyn Ellis (keyboards and guitars).
Relentless also features a long hoped-for collaboration with the esteemed composer Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead, The Smile), who provides the string arrangement and conducts the 12 Ensemble for the album’s beautiful closing track, “I Think About You Daily.”
Relentless is The Pretenders’ first album to be released via Warner Brothers – Parlophone’s parent record label – since 1999. After first signing to small independent label Real Records on the back of the heyday of punk rock, The Pretenders’ first single led them to sign with Sire – whose parent company was also Warner Brothers – via legendary A&R Seymour Stein, a partnership lasting 20 years.
And now, in 2023, The Pretenders are back at their live and brilliant best – the upcoming Relentless tour follows a handful of very intimate shows played earlier this year for Independent Venue Week. Fans were treated to a glimpse of as yet unreleased new music as The Guardian confirmed, “Hynde’s songwriting is as sharp as ever, with new songs stealing the limelight from classic hits.” All Pretenders’ live dates and the last remaining tickets are listed here.
Relentless Track Listing
1. Losing My Sense Of Taste
2. A Love
3. Domestic Silence
4. The Copa
5. Promise Of Love
6. Merry Widow
7. Let The Sun Come In
8. Look Away
9. Your House Is On Fire
10. Just Let It Go
12. I Think About You Daily