John Cale announces Mercy Album

John Cale announces new album Mercy. The legendary artist/producer's forthcoming release drops on January 20, 2023 via Domino Records
John Cale announces new album Mercy. The legendary artist/producer's forthcoming release drops on January 20, 2023 via Domino Records

John Cale has announced his new album Mercy, his first new album of original songs in a decade, will drop on January 20th via Double Six/Domino, along with the news, Cale has shared a new single/video, “Story Of Blood” ft. Weyes Blood. For nearly 60 years, or at least since he was a young Welshman who moved to New York and formed The Velvet Underground, Cale has been reinventing his music.

On the album, Cale enlists some of music’s most curious young minds: Animal Collective, Sylvan Esso, Laurel Halo, Tei Shi, Actress. They’re only some of the astounding cast who climb inside Cale’s consummate vision of the world and help him redecorate there.

The writings and recordings that shaped Mercy piled up for years, as Cale watched society totter at the brink of dystopia. Trump and Brexit, Covid and climate change, civil rights and right-wing extremism—Cale let the bad news of the day filter into his lines, whether that meant contemplating the sovereignty and legal status of sea ice melting near the poles or the unhinged arming of Americans. Lessons from a life (still being) richly lived floated to the fore, too, nodded to on the previously released “NIGHT CRAWLING.” If we’re always regretting our past, aren’t we conscripting ourselves to permanent disappointment? And in the end, as he considers alongside Weyes Blood during “STORY OF BLOOD,” aren’t we more capable of saving one another than a god we will never know?

During “STORY OF BLOOD,” after the piano prelude gives way to a frame-rattling beat and synthesizers that feel like sunshine splashed across a snowfield, the voices of Cale and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering slide past one another, two phantoms trying to find a partner amid the modern din. “Swing your soul,” they both sing in aspiration. In the final verse, Cale remembers this existence is not just about himself. “I’m going back to get them, my friends in the morning. Bring them with me into the light.” The accompanying video by Emmy-winning director Jethro Waters is a mix of disturbing and serene featuring both Cale and Weyes Blood. Its deep tones and religious images emphasize the track’s dark, spiritual mood.

Cale elaborates: “I’d been listening to Weyes Blood’s latest record and remembered Natalie’s puritanical vocals. I thought if I could get her to come and sing with me on the ‘Swing your soul’ section, and a few other harmonies, it would be beautiful. What I got from her was something else! Once I understood the versatility in her voice, it was as if I’d written the song with her in mind all along. Her range and fearless approach to tonality was an unexpected surprise. There’s even a little passage in there where she’s a dead-ringer for Nico.”

John Cale
Double Six/Domino Records

1. MERCY feat. Laurel Halo
2. MARILYN MONROE’S LEGS (beauty elsewhere) feat. Actress
4. STORY OF BLOOD feat. Weyes Blood
5. TIME STANDS STILL feat. Sylvan Esso
6. MOONSTRUCK (Nico’s Song)
7. EVERLASTING DAYS feat. Animal Collective
10. THE LEGAL STATUS OF ICE feat. Fat White Family
11. I KNOW YOU’RE HAPPY feat. Tei Shi

John Cale 2022 Tour Dates

Sun. Oct. 23 – Edinburgh, UK @ The Queen’s Hall
Mon. Oct. 24 – York, UK @ Barbican
Fri. Oct. 28 – Cardiff, WLS @ Llais Festival *
Mon. Oct. 31 – Whitley Bay, UK @ Playhouse Whitley Bay
Thu. Nov. 3 – Birmingham, UK @ Birmingham Town Hall
Mon. Nov. 7 – Bexhill on Sea, UK @ De La Warr Pavilion
Wed. Nov. 9 – London, UK @ The London Palladium
Thu. Nov. 10 – Cambridge, UK @ Cambridge Corn Exchange
Fri. Nov. 11 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Pre-order Mercy by John Cale HERE


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