The long wait is over — Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars is out today (June 14th) marking “The Boss'” first new studio set in five years. According to the announcement for the album, Springsteen “takes his music to a new place, drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late-'60s and early-'70s. The album was recorded primarily at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York.” At midnight, Springsteen released the video for the album's title track online.

Springsteen said of the album, “This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements. It's a jewel box of a record.”

Western Stars was produced by Ron Aniello with Springsteen providing guitar, bass, and keyboards, among other instruments. Patti Scialfa also appears and contributed vocal arrangements on four tracks, along with original E Street Band keyboardist David Sancious and current touring members Charlie Giordano, and Soozie Tyrell, among many other musicians.

Bruce Springsteen has long felt that the job he does is one that's existed through the ages — long before arenas, albums, and MTV: “If you look at the role of storytellers in communities, y'know, going back to the beginning of time, y'know, they played a sort of. . . you played a very functional role in assisting the community in making sense of its experience, sense of the world around them, charting parts of their lives, getting through parts of their lives. I was interested in sort of the eternal role of storyteller-songwriter and how I was going to perform that function best.”

Bruce Springsteen says that these days he's mainly writing for his longtime followers who've made the journey with him over the years: “You generally have a core group of people who have followed you all along, and that's sort of the audience that I sort of write for and that I play for. Y'know, I'm not out there watchin' if it's goin'' up or down, I'm trying to write music that's meaningful that has some commitment to it, some passion, some soul to it that connects people to their friends to their families, their world that they live in. And whatever happens after that — that's icing on the cake.”