Sturgill Simpson has a new album coming this fall called Sound & Fury, and it will be accompanied by an anime film of the same name to be released on Netflix. This was the news coming out of the San Diego Comic-Con panel Sturgill Simpson participated in on Saturday (7-21) evening.
“We went in without any preconceived notions and came out with a really sleazy, steamy rock n roll record. It’s definitely my most psychedelic,” Sturgill Simpson says of the new album, which he self-produced. “And also my heaviest. I had this idea that it’d be really cool to animate some of these songs, and we ended up with a futuristic, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, samurai film.”
The Sound & Fury film is said to consist of individual anime segments set against each song on the companion album. Simpson composed the original story for the film, but it was written and directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, founder of the animation studio Kamikaze Douga. Takashi Okazaki is the project’s character designer, and additional directors include Masaru Matsumoto, Michael Arias, Henry Thurlow and Arthell Isom, and Koji Morimoto. Jumpei Mizusaki and Takashi Okazaki spoke with Sturgill Simpson about the film on Saturday night’s Comic Con panel.
The news confirms that folks should not expect Sturgill Simpson’s next record to be country, even though his latest song “The Dead Don’t Die,” most certainly is, and comes from its own film project—-a Jim Jarmush zombie movie of the same name.
Sturgill Simpson told Sarah Silverman in November 2018 about the record, “We just finished [it] last week that I’ve been working on for a year. It’s definitely not a country record. I can’t question these things. You can’t question these things. You’ve just got to put art on your timeline first, and all the other shit really doesn’t matter I guess is what I’ve come to see and realize.”
Sturgill Simpson fans should not be caught completely off guard about him working an anime film into his latest music project. Simpson struck an affinity for Japanese culture while serving in the Navy for three years, stationed part of that time in Japan. Simpson’s first major video for his song “Railroad of Sin” off his 2013 solo debut High Top Mountain featured footage from trains and train stations in Tokyo.
Sturgill Simpson’s last record, 2016’s A Sailors Guide to Earth won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year, and was nominated for the all genre Album of the Year. No word on a release date for the album or the film, but there is a trailer for the film available. Simpson is signed to Elektra Records.