Even as he prepares to retire from touring, songwriting legend Paul Simon has announced details of a brand new album, In The Blue Light, which will see him re-visit old songs and his personal favourites from his back catalogue.

The new album is set to arrive on September 7th, a little under a fortnight before Simon takes his final bow in the live arena with a hometown gig at Flushing Meadows Park in New York. It’s his first release since 2016’s studio album proper Stranger To Stranger.

Simon and his long-time producer Roy Halee will be reinterpreting ten lesser-known songs, as well as some of Simon’s personal favourites, from his discography. His band will consist of instrumental ensemble yMusic, guitarist Bill Frisell, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and The National’s Bryce Dessner.

Paul SimonPaul Simon performing live in 2016

“This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around,” Simon revealed of his new album in a statement.

“Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”

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Simon, now aged 76, has enjoyed a successful career spanning more than five decades, finding success with singer Art Garfunkel as part of the wildly popular Simon & Garfunkel in the mid-Sixties. They split in 1970, at the height of their fame, whereupon Simon began a solo career that included the acclaimed 1986 album Graceland.

“It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and re-think them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals,” Simon continued.

“Happily, this opportunity also gave me the gift of playing with an extraordinary group of musicians, most of whom I hadn’t recorded with before. I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home.”

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