Today, Citizen Cope announces his first album in seven years ‘Heroin and Helicopters,’ out March 1st, 2019 on his own label RainWater Recordings, in partnership with Thirty Tigers. Comprised of 11 new, original songs all written and produced by Cope - AKA Clarence Greenwood - ‘Heroin and Helicopters’ marks a return to Cope’s grassroots approach to musicianship, one that is colored by hard work, hustle and heart, irrespective of the obstacles he’s encountered throughout his more than 25 years as a career artist.
To accompany the announcement, Citizen Cope has released a new song “Justice,” the lead single from ‘Heroin and Helicopters,’ which Cope recorded in the same DC studio where he cut his hits "Bullet And A Target" and "Son’s Gonna Rise." Listen to “Justice” here: https://youtu.be/Y28DscGeu5g
NPR Music’s World Cafe said “Justice” “swaggers with a head-nodding groove and contains a yearning and soulful message of optimism and positivity.” They went on to declare, “the hallmarks of Cope's songs are his impressive ability to pair deep-felt grooves and a memorable melody with wondrous lyrical simplicity that goes straight to the point and to the heart. On ‘Justice,’ he swings for the fences and scores.”
"I have never really experienced what Justice is," says Cope. "Our definition is more like revenge or payback, but I have seen love create miracles and overcome hate."
Citizen Cope came up with the title ‘Heroin and Helicopters’ after an encounter with Carlos Santana, who has been a Citizen Cope fan since before their 2002 collaboration on his rework of the Cope song “Sideways.” Santana was at a Citizen Cope show at San Francisco's Fillmore when he told Cope to "stay away from the two H’s - heroin and helicopters," saying both had fatal results for people in music. To Cope, the quote reflected a larger pattern in society - a metaphor for addiction and instant gratification, both themes that thread throughout the record.
The album tackles Cope’s personal struggles with religion, political manipulation, hollowness in the entertainment world, and spiritual enlightenment, as he contends with his own role in those societal institutions. ‘Heroin and Helicopters’ opens with “Duck Confit,” a poetic spoken word piece backed by 808 kicks and an ominous organ. Album cut “The River” is a slow-burning reflection on tyrannical systems that betray and oppress, though it ends on a note of hope - “I never wanted to lose your love / I just wanted to choose our love.” Quiet stand-out “On My Love” is a stark, heart-wrenching tribute to Cope’s daughter Lula, and an attempt on Cope’s part to pass his life’s lessons on to her.
Citizen Cope has sold over 1 million records, and he’s earned accolades from Rolling Stone and The Washington Post, who dubbed him "DC’s finest export since Marvin Gaye." He will tour extensively this spring in support of ‘Heroin and Helicopters,’ details to be announced soon.
PRE-ORDER ‘HEROIN AND HELICOPTERS’
MORE INFO ON CITIZEN COPE