Robert Plant Announces New ‘Carry Fire’ LP, Debuts ‘The May Queen’ Single
Robert Plant will release his 11th studio album, Carry Fire, on Oct. 13. The first single, "The May Queen," can be heard above, and the cover art and 11-song track list can be found below.
Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders joins Plant on a cover of Ersel Hickey's 1958 standard "Bluebirds Over The Mountain," which has previously been covered by the Beach Boys and Ritchie Valens.
The Sensational Shape Shifters once again serve as Plant's backing band, as they did on the former Led Zeppelin frontman's most recent effort, 2014's lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar. The band has expanded with the recent addition of folk singer Seth Lakeman, who plays on three Carry Fire tracks.
The new album finds Plant in a reflective mood, containing references to the classic Zeppelin track “Stairway To Heaven” in the song title “The May Queen” and a nod to his 2005 solo song "Mighty ReArranger" in the title track.
“It’s about intention," Plant says of the new album and his creative methods. "I respect and relish my past works, but each time I feel the incentive to create new work, I must mix old with new. Consequently, the whole impetus of the band has moved on its axis somewhat – the new sound and different space giving way to exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation.”
He expanded on these ideas in a new interview with BBC6 Music: “I look for a theme from all the stuff I’d written down and then I just roll on. I’ve been very fortunate. I was in the greatest cross-sectional band ever. Not for melody, but for power and energy and inventivity – a very good word.”
Accepting the description of himself as a “failed romantic,” Plant continued: “I’ve done a lot of other things, from the Honeydrippers or working with Alison Krauss, which was beautifully romantic. When you’re singing alongside Alison, and she’s got a twinkle in her eye, and you’re singing about the pitfalls of romance, it can be difficult.
“I really loved the songs of Roy Orbison and people like that. The Big O really sang about love and captured that area of the teenage angst. I’m no longer a teenager, but I’m aware as time goes on, if you listen to singing about love, it’s usually broken love. It’s seldom you extoll the virtues of a life in successful love. Show me a happy writer, I’ll show you a rubbish writer! I see things going on around me; I see the rub of love, the energies, the electricity. I’m not giving up – I have a season ticket.”
Plant has set 14-show UK tour for November and December, but has yet to reveal any U.S. dates in support of the new album.
Robert Plant Carry Fire Track List
1. "The May Queen"
2. "New World…"
3. "Season’s Song
4. "Dance With You Tonight"
5. "Carving Up The World Again"
6. "A Way With Words"
7. "Carry Fire"
8. "Bones Of Saints"
9. "Keep It Hid"
10. "Bluebirds Over The Mountain"
11. "Heaven Sent"
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