Legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon today announced an upcoming new album, Into The Blue Light. Produced by long-time collaborator Roy Halee, the album will be released by Legacy Recordings on September 7th. Pre-order the new album here.
Into The Blue Light, unlike any of his previous efforts, will comprise updates and reworkings of his old songs. These songs, Simon explained, were ‘almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around.’ In the new album, Simon and his troupe of session players – which includes jazz luminaries like Wynton Marsalis, Bill Frisell and Steve Gad – will redo ‘arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear.’ He said that the whole process gave him a ‘fresh perspective’. ‘[It] gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.’
Simon has made a promotional video for the upcoming release, which you can see below.
Catapulted into fame as part of the 1960s’ folk duo Simon and Garfunkel, the ten songs are lesser-known but actually among his best. One of the tracks featured in the video, ‘Can’t Run But’, for example, is one of Simon’s most fascinating cuts. Originally released on 1990’s Rhythm of the Saints, the original is powered by exotic rhythms, tribal percussion and spacey lyrics, inspired by Simon’s experimentation with ayahuasca, the Amazonian hallucinogenic brew, as well as his wider travels across Latin America. But from its feature in the promotional video, it seems that Simon’s update will be decidedly more Western classical.
The new release is also set to coincide with the final leg of his farewell ‘Homeward Bound’ tour, which concludes with a performance on September 22 in Queens, New York. Simon is stopping in the UK tomorrow for a performance at Hyde Park’s BST Festival. You can get last-minute tickets here.