There’s still no official release date for Peter Gabriel’s long-anticipated I/O, but the art-rock icon has been sprinkling out a ton of singles over the last few month: “Road To Joy,” “Four Kinds Of Horses,” the title track, “So Much,” and “Olive Tree.” Today, Gabriel is sharing another I/O track called “Love Can Heal.” He actually performed it during the recent I/O tour, but had its live debut during Gabriel and Sting’s North American Rock, Paper, Scissors tour in 2016.
Here’s Gabriel on “Love Can Heal”:
“Love Can Heal” was written around 2016 and I did start playing it midway through the tour and dedicated it to Jo Cox, who was the British MP brutally murdered by an extremist and someone that I had met at a leadership conference. I think the song fits right in to the themes of the album in the sense that i/o is about feeling and being connected to everything and in a way, the next evolution of being connected to things is a feeling of love for everything…
… it sounds trite just to say “love can heal,” but I really believe that it is a key element and that when people feel interaction, warmth, giving, part of something alive and not isolated, that they’re much more likely to do well and be able to offer more themselves. The music began with this meditative, repeated sequence and the essence of all these sounds was trying to create a sensual palette.
With the work that Hans-Martin Buff’s been doing on the immersive mix too, you’re getting this sense of being touched in many places and it should be a place just to drift off into. That was my aim.
“Love Can Heal” also features artwork from Antony Micallef, who did a painting called “a small painting of what I think love looks like.”
“Antony Micallef is a stunning painter,” Gabriel says. “I’d seen some of his portraits and they are with thick layers of paint, so there were references to Auerbach and Bacon for me, just very physical, very powerful and I just fell in love. Those paintings, in some ways, are more brutal, but this one is so tender and I think Antony manages to capture a lot of that intimate tenderness around love that is very hard to put into pictures. I was delighted when he was happy to be part of this.”
Micallef adds, “I was listening to a few of the songs and it’s interesting because it’s like putting on clothes and going ‘oh, this suits me’ or ‘that doesn’t suit me.’ With Love Can Heal I could see my images coming up when I was hearing it so you begin to home-in and that’s how it starts. I love artists who take risks and Peter’s always chopped and changed and I like to do that too with my work and you know it doesn’t just rest on this one thing.”
Listen to “Love Can Heal,” which comes with a video by Aardman Animations.