This CD features 11 new songs which were released on June 17, 2022 and is available on Blue Élan Records.
Recorded on two continents during the pandemic, between Gerry Beckley's home studios in Sydney, Australia, and Venice, California, Aurora is an introspective album that takes stock of Gerry's life - past, present and future.
Beckley says the recently penned title track, an unabashed love song, uses the natural phenomenon of light in the sky at dawn, which befits an album-opener, as a metaphor for the life-changing event of meeting his wife and moving to Australia.
The first single, "Friends are Hard to Find," seeks to relieve the isolation all of us felt during the last nearly two years, with a hopeful, handclapping, crowd-sourced party atmosphere to provide the respite that music can offer in times of stress. Gerry acknowledges channeling the spontaneous creativity of his good friend, prolific songwriter Jimmy Webb.
"This is a time of great reflection whether we like it or not," he says. "If we treat this pandemic as the lesson it could and should be, this could be a moment for great growth, because even with the immense challenges we face, there is still hope."
As befits its simultaneous look back and forward, the songs on Aurora include "some old and some new," unfinished demos and scratch recordings from as early as the mid-'70s, along with tracks "started from scratch" over the past two years. New song "Tickets to the Past" marks the first time Beckley has co-written a song with longtime America partner Dewey Bunnell and it appears somewhere other than an America album. With America, who still perform more than 100 live dates a year, unable to fully tour during the last two years, Beckley turned to "my main hobby," writing and recording almost 40 tracks, pared down to the 11 included on the album.
Sequenced like a traditional vinyl album, with a Side 1 and 2, Aurora is the work of a lifelong performer who hasn't stopped growing, personally and creatively, with a beginning, middle and end.
"When you hold a mirror up to your life, it's hard to control how much of your life is in that reflection," he says. "I don't want to say it's about one thing in particular, I'd rather leave it more open-ended."
Last Revised: 9 July 2022