John Cale Announces New Album 'POPtical Illusion'
Photo credit: Madeline McManus

John Cale Announces New Album 'POPtical Illusion'

Today, John Cale announces his new album, POPtical Illusion, out June 14th via Double Six / Domino, and shares its lead single/video, “How We See The Light.” Despite the album’s playful title, 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. But this is not at all MERCY II, or some collection of castoffs, as throughout his career of more than six decades, Cale has never been much for repetition. His vanguard-shaping enthusiasms have shifted among ecstatic classicism and unbound rock, classic songcraft and electronic reimagination with proud restlessness. And so, on POPtical Illusion, he foregoes the illustrious cast to burrow mostly alone into mazes of synthesizers and samples, organs and pianos, with words that, as far as Cale goes, constitute a sort of swirling hope, a sage insistence that change is yet possible. 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,” is one of the most beautiful and redemptive tracks in Cale’s catalogue, featuring 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, a director noted for “[adding] depth to an already unfathomable piece of art” (FADER) on their previous work together.  


John Cale POPtical Illusion

Album | 14th June 2024

Despite the album’s playful title, Cale’s second album in just over a year still contains the same feelings of fierce and inquisitive rage that were present in 2023 album MERCY. 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. But this is not at all MERCY II, or some collection of castoffs, as throughout his career of more than six decades, Cale has never been much for repetition. His vanguard-shaping enthusiasms have shifted among ecstatic classicism and unbound rock, classic songcraft and electronic reimagination with proud restlessness. 

And so, on POPtical Illusion, he foregoes the illustrious cast to burrow mostly alone into mazes of synthesizers and samples, organs and pianos, with words that, as far as Cale goes, constitute a sort of swirling hope, a sage insistence that change is yet possible. Produced by Cale and longtime artistic partner Nita Scott, POPtical Illusion is the work of someone trying to turn toward the future – exactly as Cale always has.

Tracklisting

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

John Cale POPtical Illusion

Album | 14th June 2024

Despite the album’s playful title, Cale’s second album in just over a year still contains the same feelings of fierce and inquisitive rage that were present in 2023 album MERCY. 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. But this is not at all MERCY II, or some collection of castoffs, as throughout his career of more than six decades, Cale has never been much for repetition. His vanguard-shaping enthusiasms have shifted among ecstatic classicism and unbound rock, classic songcraft and electronic reimagination with proud restlessness. 

And so, on POPtical Illusion, he foregoes the illustrious cast to burrow mostly alone into mazes of synthesizers and samples, organs and pianos, with words that, as far as Cale goes, constitute a sort of swirling hope, a sage insistence that change is yet possible. Produced by Cale and longtime artistic partner Nita Scott, POPtical Illusion is the work of someone trying to turn toward the future – exactly as Cale always has.

Tracklisting

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