- TICKET NEWS
Cat Stevens is releasing a new album a week before his Glastonbury legends slot.
The 74-year-old musician - who is also known as Yusuf Islam - is bringing out his seventeenth studio LP 'King of a Land' on June 16 via BMG / Dark Horse Records.
The weekend after, Cat will head to the world famous festival in Somerset on June 25 to perform the coveted Sunday tea-time legends slot on the Pyramid Stage - a highly prestigious billing previously occupied by Diana Ross, Kylie Minogue, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson and many more.
'King of a Land' is an epic body of work. More than a decade in the making, Cat's 12 new songs feature words and melodies that paint a vivid picture of a world which embraces the lost lands of truisms and stainless youth, and brings it into touching distance.
His poetical storytelling invites the listener on a journey towards the gates of an alternative universe to that which we presently inhabit - where happy endings can possibly happen.
The LP is preceded by the closing track ‘Take The World Apart’, out now, which is accompanied by an animated lyric video created by Peter H. Reynolds.
Reflecting on the record, Cat said: "Looking at the jagged journey of my music, beginning as I did in the 60’s, I would say this new record is a mosaic. A very clearly defined description of where I've been and who I am.
"Sometimes you have to take something apart, to find the peace you’re looking for.”
The album’s artwork was also created by Reynolds, the award-winning Canadian children’s illustrator.
'King of a Land' is the continuation of a collaboration between Yusuf and Peter that began with the New York Times best selling ‘Peace Train’ picture book in 2021. As well as the 'King of a Land' cover art, Peter has created illustrations for each of the songs portraying the album’s lyrical themes that feature in the record’s accompanying booklet.
Speaking about his work with Cat, Peter said: "Someone pinch me. Illustrating the Peace Train picture book was an honour, but when Yusuf asked me to create the album art and animation for 'King of a Land'... well, I feel like I'm dreaming. The music and lyrics are truly what the world needs now more than ever."
Early recording sessions for ‘King of a Land‘ stretch back to 2011 at Berlin’s Hansa Studios - the setting for classic albums such as David Bowie’s 'Low', 'Heroes' and U2’s 'Achtung Baby' - and from there, recording locations moved through the years from ICP Studios in Brussels to La Fabrique in Provence, South of France.
Additional overdubs and a 60-piece orchestra were recorded in Air and Angel studios in London, with some key work originally recorded in Cat’s own garage-based home studio in Dubai he calls “Dubville”.
Overseeing the recording process was Yusuf’s long-term producer and later co-producer, ex-Yardbird Paul Samwell-Smith.
'King of a Land' is available for pre-order on green vinyl in a gatefold format with a 36 page booklet featuring illustrations by Peter Reynolds.
The CD also features a booklet illustrated by Peter Reynolds - pre-order here. An exclusive edition of the album, pressed on white vinyl, is available from the official Yusuf / Cat Stevens online store along with album merchandise - visit the official store here.
‘King of a Land‘ album tracklisting:
1. Train on a Hill
2. King of a Land
3. Pagan Run
4. He is True
5. All Nights, All Days
6. Another Night in the Rain
8. Son of Mary
10. The Boy Who Knew How to Climb Walls
11. How Good it Feels
12. Take the World Apart