Paul Simon to Release ‘Seven Psalms,’ First Album of Newly Written Material in Seven Years

Paul Simon has announced a new album, “Seven Psalms,” a suite-like conceptual album that he says is meant to be listened to as one 33-minute piece of work, containing seven distinct but interlinked songs, or “movements.”

The May 19 release will mark the first all-new collection he’s put out since 2016’s “Stranger to Stranger” and the first studio album of any sort since “In the Blue Light” in 2018, an album of re-recordings of older songs.

The release is also due to have a companion documentary, “In Restless Dreams,” directed by Alex Gibney, according to a title card at the end of a trailer Simon has released for the upcoming album. No official announcement of that film has yet been made.

The album was recorded entirely on acoustic instruments, with choral contributions from the British vocal group VOCES8, and a guest vocal appearance by his wife, Edie Brickell. Kyle Crusham co-produced with the artist.

Although no studio was named in the announcement, Simon was reported by people working in adjacent studios to have been recording new material at New York’s Reservoir Studios last year.

In the trailer, Simon explains the origin of the album, saying: “On January 15th, 2019, I had a dream that said ‘You are working on a piece called “Seven Psalms.”‘ The dream was so strong that I got up and I wrote it. But I had no idea what that meant. Gradually information would come. I would start to wake up two or three times a week between 3:30 and 5 in the morning, and words would come, I’d write ’em down, then start to put it together.

“I like to work and then discover,” he continues. “Well, it’s really interesting. I’m trying all the time to move things in this kind of flow way that puts you in a dream, and I think if you’re willing to fall into a dream space, you’re willing to let your judgment down.

“This is a journey for me to complete. This whole piece is really an argument I’m having with myself about belief or not.”

Lyrics Simon is heard singing in the trailer include: “The Lord is my engineer… The Lord is the face in the atmosphere… The Lord is my record producer.” And: “Hoping the gates won’t be closed before your forgiveness.”

The material is further said in the documentary teaser to be tied to “how the limitation of your belief always tends to be tied to your conception of your mortality.”

The track list:

1. The Lord
2. Love Is Like A Braid
3. My Professional Opinion 
4. Your Forgiveness
5. Trail of Volcanoes
6. The Sacred Harp
7. Wait

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