Even when he’s not releasing new music of his own, former White Stripe Jack White and the crew at his multifaceted label enterprise Third Man Records keep a ton of plates spinning. This year, Third Man opened a new location in London and a website called Jack White Art & Design was launched. Meanwhile, the Nashville location has opened up the Blue Room venue as The Blue Room Bar on Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m., while booking a multitude of exciting shows including upcoming performances from Yasmin Williams, Silver Synthetic, Allison Russell and many more. And all that while the release schedule for various Third Man artists and archival projects ramps back up, as well.
Today, White releases his first solo recording since 2018’s experimental mixed bag Boarding House Reach. It’s a ferocious rocker of a single called “Taking Me Back,” which will be featured in the forthcoming video game Call of Duty: Vanguard. Check that out above in a lyric video with scenes from the game. The lyrics focus on playing with different meanings of the phrase — “taking me back” as in remembering, as well as in the possible rekindling of a relationship that’s been over for a while, which the frontman sounds tentative about. White made the track at Third Man's studio, and plays all the instruments, including the keys in a gnarly synth breakdown.
The virtual B-side of the digital release is a very different version of the same song, appropriately titled “Taking Me Back (Gently).” This acoustic take, whose accompanying visualizer vid you can see below, has a Western swing/Eastern European folk/Django Reinhardt feel that brings the more contemplative perspective of the song to the center.
The last time White was on the road for an extended period was during The Raconteurs’ tour behind 2019’s Help Us Stranger, though he has made some one-off appearances like a stellar last-minute fill-in for Morgan Wallen on SNL in 2020. Find the tracks on your favorite streaming service, and keep an eye on Third Man’s website for more updates on what he’s up to.