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Saturday, March 4, 2023

New: Peter Gabriel + Ian Hunter + Natalie Merchant + Sam Roberts Band + Madison Cunningham

Peter Gabriel: The Court

Of this latest single from the upcoming album I/O, Gabriel says: "I had this idea for ‘the court will rise’ chorus, so it became a free-form, impressionistic lyric that connected to justice, but there’s a sense of urgency there. A lot of life is a struggle between order and chaos and in some senses the justice or legal system is something that we impose to try and bring some element of order to the chaos. That’s often abused, it’s often unfair and discriminatory but at the same time it’s probably an essential part of a civilised society. But we do need to think sometimes about how that is actually realised and employed."

Ian Hunter: Bed of Roses

The veteran rocker and former Mott the Hoople frontman has brought together an all-star cast for his next album, Defiance Pt. 1. This first single features Ringo Starr on drums and Mike Campbell on guitar. Other contributors to the LP include Jeff Beck, Todd Rundgren, Billy F. Gibbons, Slash and many more. The project started during lockdown, with Hunter putting together basic tracks in his Connecticut basement. He put out word to his musician friends and was overwhelmed with responses.  “It was a fluke,” he says. “It’s amazing what’s happened. It’s been such a buzz.”

Natalie Merchant: Come On, Aphrodite (feat. Abena Koomson-Davis)

After a gap of nearly a decade, the singer-songwriter and former member of 10,000 Maniacs will release her ninth solo album, Keep Your Courage, next month. She describes this first single as an "invocation to the goddess of love and passion. ...In the lyrics, I list all the clichés we use to describe falling in love: being drunk and blind, over the moon, weak in the knees, and half out of our minds. For the Greeks, when the spirit of love descended, it was seen as a kind of assault; you would become powerless against an all-consuming, sweet madness. Amazingly, humans still crave it, in spite of the perils.” Merchant is joined here by Abena Koomson-Davis, a performer, educator and musical director of the Resistance Revival Chorus.

Sam Roberts Band: Picture of Love

Photo by Dave Gillespie
It's the 20th anniversary of this Montreal native's debut album, We Were Born in a Flame, which won JUNO awards for Album of the Year, Rock Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year. The next SRB album, following 2020's All of Us, is due in the fall, and this is the first single. It's a warm mid-tempo number with a mix of strumming and chiming guitars.

Madison Cunningham, Remi Wolf: Hospital (One Man Down)

These two Los Angeles-based artists teamed up to reimagine this song from Cunningham's Revealer album, which was released in September and won the Grammy for Best Folk Album. Cunningham says the song "has always had this underlying feeling of wanting to fall apart at the seams and then actively restraining itself. ... I wanted to make a version that knew zero restraint and hinges off completely. Being a major fan of Remi’s, I knew she would be the voice to help me cross that line."

Photo by Claire Marie Vogel.

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