[Cover photo credit to Shervin Lainez]

Meditations on Crime has announced an eponymous collaborative new album and art book, due out September 23rd, 2022. The multimedia project includes a Harper Simon produced & co-written album of musical collaborations with a range of contributors including Julia Holter, Cole Alexander of Black Lips, Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux, King Khan, Animal Collective’s Geologist + Sun Ra Arkestra.

The book includes images by Cindy Sherman, Nate Lowman, Julian Schnabel and Laurie Anderson and essayists are Miranda July, Hooman Majd, Jerry Stahl and MC5’s Wayne Kramer.

The album is released via AntiFragile Music while the book is published by Boo-Hooray and Bunker Basement, released with Hat and Beard Press/Ingram, and edited by Johan Kugelberg and Jonah Freeman, who also acted as co-curator.

Raymond Pettibon art

The project also features American artist Raymond Pettibon, creator of iconic Sonic Youth and Black Flag cover art, both within the book and also on the cover of the album where he created a portrait of John Dillinger.

Harper Simon comments:

Everyone is fascinated by crime. When you look at the history of song, romantic love songs may be the dominant mode of songwriting, but second would probably be songs involving crime—murder ballads, political protest songs; crime is a major theme in all songwriting.

Art by Jonah Freeman + Justin Lowe

He adds:

This project allowed me to explore different worlds other than the music world. To have different platforms for different audiences, and to do a whole bunch of things that people don’t normally do when they make an album.

Meditations on Crime is already expanding into other areas, as Harper Simon and Jonah Freeman are completing a short film based on Booker Prize winning novelist Ben Okri’s essay, narrated by actress Katherine Waterston. Details on art shows and benefit concerts will be coming soon.