The elder statesman of folk is back after five years with a genre-bending new record
Paul Simon has announced his first studio album in half a decade, and its first single is already on YouTube.
Stranger to Stranger will be Simon’s 13th album as a solo artist and is due for release in June.
You can listen to Wristband, the album’s rhythmic first single, below:
Simon, whose most famous work Graceland is celebrated for its innovative recording techniques, turned to the experimental American composer and inventor Harry Partch for inspiration on his new album. Partch, who died in 1974, was an experimental musical theorist who invented numerous bizarre instruments to help perform his avant garde compositions. Simon even visited his lab at Montclair State University in New Jersey, which houses Partch’s custom-made instruments, like the chromelodeon.
“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 said.
To get his sound just right, Simon teamed up with Clap! Clap!, an experimental Italian producer who fuses African rhythms and EDM, as well as his longterm collaborator Roy Halee, and a group of flamenco musicians.
“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,” he added. “The right song at the right time can live for generations. A beautiful sound, well that’s forever.”
Stranger to Stranger is due to be released on 3 June.