America‘s Gerry Beckley recently released his latest solo album, Aurora, an 11-track collection recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic at his two home studios — in Sydney, Australia, and Venice, California.
Beckley tells ABC Audio that because the pandemic kept America off the road for quite a while, it not only gave him extra time to write new songs but it also gave him the opportunity “to dig in to some of the [incomplete] older things that I had nowhere near the time or patience to finish [before].”
One song on Aurora that undoubtedly will interest America fans is “Tickets to the Past,” which Beckley wrote with his co-founding bandmate Dewey Bunnell, who also sings on the track.
Beckley says Bunnell got involved in the track because the song “was missing a verse,” and he decided to ask Dewey to help finish the tune.
“Dewey wrote a lovely verse,” Gerry notes, “and then…Jeff Larson, my co-producer, went up and got Dewey’s vocal.”
He adds, “[I]t was…a lovely addition to this record, because normally these solo albums are, you know, key word ‘solo.’ I not only write most of it, but play most of it…So it’s lovely to have him. It’s a great song. I’m really happy with it.”
Meanwhile, Beckley has just released a “visualizer” video for another Aurora track, “Way to Go,” which was inspired by the classic Philadelphia soul sound of the 1970s.
“[O]ne of my favorite tracks of all time is The Spinners‘ ‘I’ll Be Around,"” Gerry reveals. “And, you know, these are pop songs, but they are just approached with an incredibly identifiable dynamic, that whole Philly sound.”
Beckley also points out that he layered his background vocals on the track “trying to do the whole soul group [sound].”
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