Published Jul 18, 2016While Sting is touring with Peter Gabriel this summer, it turns out the former Police frontman has also been prepping a new solo album. Touted as being his most rock-geared release in years, the collection will be called 57th & 9th.
Though an official due date has yet been revealed, Rolling Stone reports that Sting has been working on the album out in New York, its title alluding to the intersection he crosses to get to the studio. The record marks the longtime musician's return to pop, following experiments like 2006's lute-heavy Songs from the Labyrinth and 2014 musical The Last Ship.
"It's rockier than anything I've done in a while," he revealed to Rolling Stone. "This record is a sort of omnibus of everything that I do, but the flagship seems to be this energetic thing. I'm very happy to put up the mast and see how it goes."
Sting has been working in the studio with touring drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and guitarist Dominic Miller, as well as Last Bandoleros members Jerry Fuentes and Diego Navaira. Adding a sense of urgency to the sessions, Sting would arrive at the studio without any song ideas, preferring to write on the spot with the other musicians.
One of the songs, "50,000," is described as a "gloomy ballad" that Sting had wrote the week Prince died. Apparently, it has him weighing in on death, legacies, the cult of celebrity, and his place in it all.
"Mortality does sort of rear its head, particularly at my age — I'm 64," Sting said. "It's really a comment on how shocked we all are when one of our cultural icons dies: Prince, David [Bowie], Glenn Frey, Lemmy. They are our gods, in a way. So when they die, we have to question our own immortality. Even I, as a rock star, have to question my own. And the sort of bittersweet realization that hubris doesn't mean anything in the end."
It's added that "One Fine Day" attacks climate change deniers, while "Inshallah" finds the singer threading a narrative surrounding refugees travelling to Europe. Sting said the two topics are not mutually exclusive.
"The biggest engine for migration will be climate," Sting noted. "Millions of people will be looking for somewhere safe. I'm still in a bit of a depression about Britain exiting the EU for no good reason. At least the EU has a program to tackle climate change."
As previously reported, Sting has teamed up with Peter Gabriel for the "Rock Paper Scissors" tour. You can read Exclaim!'s review of the artists' recent show in Quebec City this month over here. The ongoing trek hits Calgary and Edmonton later this month.