Elvis Costello has dropped a new track, “Hetty O’Hara Confidential.” Accompanied by a pulpy animated video, the song tells the tale of the titular tattler, Hetty O’Hara, “who outlives her time,” in the words of Costello.
The song follows on the heels of Costello’s earlier single from this year, the kinetic “No Flag.” Elvis Costello and the Imposters released the Purse EP in 2019, and their latest studio album, Look Now, in 2018.
According to a press statement, both “No Flag” and “Hetty O’Hara Confidential” were recorded over three days at Suomenlinnan Studio in Helsinki, Finland. “I wanted to go somewhere nobody knew me,” Costello said. “So, this is ‘The Helsinki Sound.’” The tracks were recorded and engineered by Eetü Seppälä and mixed in Los Angeles by Sebastian Krys.
Costello has been an active participant in several fundraisers for COVID-19 aid in music. Last month, he joined Rosanne Cash for Present Perfect: Songs of Protest and Memory, part of the Live With Carnegie Hall series. The event also included Brandi Carlisle, Gary Clark Jr., Marc Cohn and Ry Cooder.
In May, Costello teamed up with Sheryl Crow and several other artists for a livestream benefiting the Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund. He recently performed “When the Saints Go Marching In” with Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and others to benefit the Preservation Hall Foundation’s Legacy Relief Fund.