From alt-country hero to anime producer, Grammy winner Sturgill Simpson is broadening his horizons. Appearing on a panel Saturday night at Comic-Con, Simpson announced an animated Netflix film, “Sound & Fury,” that he’s producing and wrote the original story for, to be accompanied by a simultaneously released album this fall he describes as “sleazy, steamy rock.”
The film, which consists of individual anime segments set against each song on the companion album, is being written and directed by Jumpei Mizusaki (“Batman Ninja”), founder of the animation studio Kamikaze Douga. Takashi Okazaki (“Afro Samurai”) is the project’s character designer, and additional directors include Masaru Matsumoto (“Starship Troopers: Traitors of Mars”), Michael Arias (“The Animatrix”), Henry Thurlow and Arthell Isom, and Koji Morimoto (“Akira”).
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Watch the trailer here:
The “Sound & Fury” music release, described by Netflix as “an American rock album,” is Simpson’s first since “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” which was nominated for album of the year at the 2017 Grammys. That previous won in the best country album category, despite representing a stylistic expansion on Sturgill’s part with few audible ties to mainstream country.
“We went in without any preconceived notions and came out with a really sleazy, steamy rock n roll record. It’s definitely my most psychedelic,” said Simpson. “And also my heaviest. I had this idea that it’d be really cool to animate some of these songs, and we ended up with a futuristic, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, samurai film.”
Simpson recently had a presence in multiplexes via Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die,” for which the singer-songwriter contributed the oft-heard title song — and was referred to by name by the Sturgill-loving characters nearly every time it came on.