Paul Simon announces new album

Paul Simon
Paul Simon

Paul Simon: “It’s about making music that sounds old and new at the same time”. Pic: Creative Commons/Matthew Straubmuller

The singer-songwriter is set to return with his 13th solo record this June and has revealed its first single, ‘Wristband’

Legendary American singer-songwriter, Paul Simon will release Stranger To Stranger, his 13th solo album on 3 June 2016 via Virgin EMI. The record — his first since 2011’s acclaimed So Beautiful Or So What — was produced by Simon and his long-standing musical partner Roy Halee, and is said to be darkly humorous and experimental, taking in typically diverse musical influences such as Italian electronic dance music and Flamenco.

“It’s about getting you to actually hear something in a new way. It’s about making music that sounds old and new at the same time; music with a sense of mystery,” Simon explains of his and Halee’s experimentation on the album. The first song written for the album, Insomniac’s Lullaby, led Simon to the musical possibilities first suggested by Harry Partch — the 20th century American composer and theorist who created custom-made instruments in microtonal tunings. To capture the sounds of Partch’s unusual instruments such as Cloud-Chamber Bowls and the Chromelodeon, Simon took his equipment to the laboratory at Montclair State University in New Jersey, where the original Harry Partch instrument collection was being curated.

An experimental session with the percussionist in Simon’s band and a group of Flamenco musicians provided the initial rhythmic premise for Stranger To Stranger and supplied the grooves that were the basis for four songs on the album — The Riverbank, The Werewolf, Wristband and Stranger To Stranger. The album’s collage of sound also includes the Italian artist Clap! Clap!, whose album blending African field recordings and EDM, Simon admired. Clap! Clap!’s sound can be heard on three tracks: The Werewolf, Wristband and Street Angel.

“Sound is the theme of this album as much as it’s about the subjects of the individual songs. If people get that, I’ll be pleased,” explains Simon. “The right song at the right time can live for generations. A beautiful sound, well that’s forever.”

The full album track list is as follows:

  1. The Werewolf
  2. Wristband
  3. The Clock
  4. Street Angel
  5. Stranger To Stranger
  6. In A Parade
  7. Proof Of Love
  8. In The Garden Of Edie
  9. The Riverbank
  10. Cool Papa Bell
  11. Insomniac’s Lullaby

Paul Simon’s Stranger To Stranger will be available in a range of formats including the 11-track standard edition, a 16-track deluxe edition (featuring five bonus tracks) and 180-gram vinyl edition. Listen to the album’s first single Wristband below and, for more details, visit:

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