Ever since Jack White’s explosive appearance on “Saturday Night Live” last year, fans have thirsted for a return to his stripped-down sound of his early career — and based on the new song he dropped Monday, we may be getting it soon.
“Taking Me Back,” White’s first new solo music in nearly four years, combines that stripped down rock sound with the skronking guitar effects of the more experimental last album, “Boarding House Reach.”
The single, produced by White at Third Man Studios in Nashville, features him on all vocals and instruments. Additionally, the hard rocking “Taking Me Back” arrives paired with a genuinely gentler version aptly titled “Taking Me Back (Gently).” Both versions are joined by new visuals, premiering today at White’s official YouTube channel.
“Taking Me Back” can also be heard in the just-unveiled video game trailer for Activision’s upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard, along with footage from the game in the newly premiered lyric video for the song. Developed by Sledgehammer Games, Call of Duty: Vanguard delivers World War II like never before as players will rise on every front when the game launches worldwide on November 5. The title is the newest release from the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise that’s sold over 400 million copies around the world.
Jack White is a 12-time Grammy Award-winner and 36-time nominee.
On White’s electrifying “SNL appearance, he led with a medley, which included some lyrics rewritten for the quarantine era. Although they might have sounded written for the occasion, the rocker was actually covering Blind Willie Johnson’s 1920s song “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” written with numerous references to the 1918 pandemic, sandwiched between an opening snippet of his Beyonce/”Lemonade” collaboration “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and the White Stripes’ “Ball and Biscuit.”
“Great disease was mighty and people were sick everywhere / It was an epidemic and it traveled though the air,” White sang, borrowing from the bluesman Johnson in his first appearance. He reiterated vintage Blind Willie lines about public schools closing as a result of the Spanish flu. But “Just tell everybody in the place to get out and we’ll be clean together” — that’s from the 2003 “Ball and Biscuit,” with some new meaning in the quarantine age.