John Cale Announces POPtical Illusion LP

John Cale Announces POPtical Illusion LP
John Cale photo by Madeline McManus

Legendary artist John Cale announces his new album, POPtical Illusion, will arrive on June 14th via Double Six / Domino. Ahead of the album’s arrival, Cale has shared lead single/video, “How We See The Light”. Cale’s second album in just over a year still contains the same feelings of fierce and inquisitive rage that were present in Cale’s much-lauded 2023 album MERCY, “a deeply atmospheric collection about encroaching doom and the life-saving power of art and community” (Wall Street Journal). He remains angry, still incensed by the willful destruction that unchecked capitalists and unrepentant conmen have hoisted upon the wonders of this world and the goodness of its people. Produced by Cale and longtime artistic partner Nita Scott in his Los Angeles studio, POPtical Illusion is the work of someone trying to turn toward the future – exactly as Cale always has.

Lead single, “How We See The Light,” features pulsing pianos shifting in and out of phase with steadfast drums, all while assorted whorls of noise billow in the background. Cale considers another relationship’s end and sees it not as a waste of time, but as a chance to learn, an opportunity to get to somewhere unexpected. “Can I close another chapter in the way we run our lives?” he sings, the curious curl of his voice suggesting this is the first time he’s ever asked that. “More decisive in the future, or deliberate in the end?” This longing is reflected in the song’s video, which presents Cale collaborating once again with Pepi Ginsberg.

Cale has often said that something shifted inside his mind during the pandemic, realizing that, nearing 80, he was living and working through something that many of his past contemporaries weren’t. He wanted to document it. He wrote more than 80 songs in a period of a little over a year, collectively surveying the range of human experience in the process—humor bled into frustration, regret gave way to forgiveness, sadness tangled with surrealism. What’s more, Cale has never relegated himself to the old guard, to sitting on the sidelines and kvetching about modernity and the way things used to be done. The classically trained violist who studied with John Cage and Aaron Copland has long been a hip-hop zealot, especially the creative ways it wields technology to create multi-dimensional textures or build surprising melodies. POPtical Illusion synthesizes those emotions and enthusiasms into a dozen electronic playgrounds, Cale’s magisterial voice webbing across it all with puns and insights, grievances and quips, and some version of truth.

POPtical Illusion will be available on 2xLP, CD, and digitally. The Domino Mart pink & mint vinyl 2xLP edition pressing of 1000 includes a 7″ featuring 2 exclusive tracks, and a POPitem – a limited edition illusionary twirling paper Objet.

John Cale
POPtical Illusion

1. God Made Me Do It (don’t ask me again)
2. Davies and Wales
3. Calling You Out
4. Edge of Reason
5. I’m Angry
6. How We See The Light
7. Company Commander
8. Setting Fires
9. Shark-Shark
10. Funkball the Brewster
11. All To the Good
12. Laughing In My Sleep
13. There Will Be No River

Pre-Order POPtical Illusion by John Cale HERE


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