Legendary singer-songwriter Elton John has not made anything official about his next release, but that's okay. The Who's Pete Townshend has done that for him.
In an interview with Clash about a new graphic novel for Lifehouse, Townshend indicated that he's in contact with John, usually through Facetime. "He's great company. And he's very smart. But he's also a wonderful musicologist, you really keep some with what's new."
Townshend then dropped the news about John's future musical endeavors. "He's just gone over to LA to make an album with Brandi Carlile," adding, "They made an album together in two weeks. He says it's one of the best things they've ever done."
Back on November 3, John inducted his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was there that he casually announced, "We've just finished an album in Los Angeles, which is going to surprise the sh*t out of you. And it’s absolutely wonderful, and it’s full of youth, and it’s full of vitality. It’s a wonderful place to be after we’ve been together for 56 years."
John and the nine-times Grammy winner Carlile have been close friends since she emailed him and asked if would play piano on "Caroline," on her 2009 album Give Up the Ghost. She related to Teen Vogue at the time, "He nailed the piano in the first take and then I finally worked up the courage to ask him if he'd sing, to which he replied, "We'll give it a go!"
It worked so well that Carlile not only sang "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" with Demi Lovato and presented John the Icon Award at 2021's iHeartRadio Music Awards, but she duetted with him on "Simple Things," one of the collaborations from John's October 2021 album The Lockdown Sessions. In 2022 for John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, she came onstage at Dodger Stadium and again sang "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" as part of the live broadcast.
If the reading is right, Townshend knows more details than he's letting on. However, even if neither John nor Carlile have come forward with news of the get together and in what capacity Carlile is playing — as singer, songwriter or perhaps producer — the signs are looking good for a release sometime in 2024.