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John Cale Teases Impending Release of New LP, 'POPtical Illusion,' by Issuing Its First Single, 'How We See the Light'

The new album will be Cale's second in just over a year, arriving on the heels of 2023's 'Mercy.'

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Source: Madeline McManus

John Cale, a man who always knows the right jewelry to make his outfit really pop.

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We have reached the point where we have enough elder statesmen - and stateswomen - of rock that it isn't actually as shocking as it once was to hear that an artist over the age of 80 is on the cusp of releasing a new album. But to give John Cale the credit he deserves, it isn't all that common for someone in the 80+ range to be delivering two new albums in just over a year's time.

In January 2023, Cale released his seventeenth studio album, Mercy. On June 14, he'll be releasing album number eighteen, POPtical Illusion, a 13-song endeavor co-produced by Cale with his longtime artistic partner Nita Scott.

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Source: Domino Recording Co. Ltd.

The cover art for John Cale's upcoming new album, 'Poptical Illusion'

In the press release announcing the new LP, fans are promised "the same feelings of fierce and inquisitive rage" found on the aforementioned Mercy, assuring listeners that Cale "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," while also promising that "this is not at all MERCY II, or some collection of castoffs."

As a sampling of what's to come, Cale has offered up the album's first single, "How We See the Light," a song which contains "pulsing pianos shifting in and out of phase with steadfast drums, all while assorted whorls of noise billow in the background." And, yes, that is another quote taken straight from the press release, but having listened to it, we can confirm the veracity of these claims, although if you should feel the need to backcheck our findings, it's easy enough to do so, as we've embedded the video for the song directly below.

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As noted earlier, POPtical Illusion will be released on June 14, and it 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.

POPtical Illusion Tracklist

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

For those who might not be well-versed in Cale's back catalog, Q is happy to help you with your continued musical education by offering up a playlist which explores his solo work to the best of our ability...and the best of Spotify's ability, which is to say that we're unable to include anything from 1984's Caribbean Sunset, sadly, so you'll have to go to YouTube to hear the underrated single "Hungry for Love."

We're similarly unable to include anything from 1996's Walking on Locusts, but what we can offer up is Cale's performance of that album's single, "Dancing Undercover," on The Tonight Show, which provides the opportunity to hear Jay Leno suggest to the audience that Cale is best known to them as a founding member of the Velvet Underground and hear the audience completely fail to say, "Oh, that John Cale..."

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