Peter Gabriel is releasing a new album, i/o, this Friday via Real World. Now he has shared yet another song from it, “Let and Let Live.” This is the album’s final pre-release single. He is sharing both “Bright-Side” and “Dark-Side” mixes for each song on the album.
This album will be his first of original songs in over 20 years. Gabriel has already shared most of its songs.
Gabriel had this to say about “Let and Let Live” on his website: “Music can be like a box of mood pills that we can use to treat ourselves and a lot of the work of the Reverberation project is focused on that sort of idea. When someone suggested that forgiveness might be a topic to write about, at first, I thought, ‘that’s not interesting to me,’ but then I remembered two things. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was the chair of The Elders and a real mentor for me, led the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in South Africa and that really allowed people to expose, report and maybe feel again some of the horrors of the apartheid era. I remember he always said that listening made a huge difference, just making sure people felt heard and recognized. Then, sometimes, it created a space for forgiveness.
“There’s also a description that Nelson Mandela gave when he was released from jail after 27 years in prison and found himself about to become president of South Africa, standing next to some of the people who’d been responsible for keeping him in jail all that time. He said he felt some of the old fear and hatred swelling up inside him but when he thought hard about it, he realized that he needed to find a way to work with these people, to build what he called his rainbow coalition. He needed to feel their humanity and ultimately to find a way to forgive them. He was quite sure that if he couldn’t forgive them and find a way to work with them, that he would remain their prisoner for the rest of his days.
“Now, I know if we look at what’s happening in the Middle East now or in Ukraine, all sorts of places around the world where there’s still violence and brutality, to walk around with a bunch of flowers, preaching forgiveness seems trite and pathetic, maybe. But in the long run, I think people have to find a way. ‘Peace only happens when you respect the rights of others’ is a quote from the Peace University in Costa Rica and I think that’s a really important message for me and for my life. You either belong to that hurt or you free yourself and forgiveness is clearly a super effective way of freeing yourself.’”
For each single from the album, Gabriel is working with a different artist to do the cover artwork. “Soundsuit,” by Chicago-based artist Nick Cave, forms the single cover artwork for “Let and Let Live.”
Gabriel says: “Nick Cave does a lot performance, movement and dance work, but these extraordinary figures, for which he is best known, ‘Soundsuits,’ are amazing. They are like armor. Beneath all this exuberant color you can’t actually sense the race, the class, the wealth or the gender of the person wearing the Soundsuit, so, you have that sense that you are not going to get attacked for pre-conceived ideas about who you are or what people like you are like… it’s a very positive spin on a negative situation. Nick’s work is very interesting and unusual and I am very glad that he was happy to be part of this.”
“Let and Let Live” also features Tony Levin, David, Rhodes, Manu Katche, Brian Eno, Melanie Gabriel, John Metcalfe, The New Blood Orchestra, Steve Gadd, Paolo Fresu, and the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Previously Gabriel shared the album’s first single, “Panopticom,” which featured Brian Eno. That was followed by its second single, “The Court.” Then the album’s third single was “Playing For Time.” The fourth single was the album’s title track, “i/o.” The album’s fifth single was “Four Kinds of Horses”. “Road to Joy” was the album’s sixth single. Then he shared “So Much,” “Olive Tree,” “Love Can Heal,” “This Is Home” , and “And Still”.
Gabriel’s last full-length album of original materials was 2002’s Up, although in 2010 he released the Scratch My Back covers album and in 2011 he released New Blood, which featured orchestral re-recordings of songs from across Gabriel’s career.