Peter Gabriel has shared another new song, “Playing For Time,” from his extremely long-awaited new album, i/o, and announced a run of North American tour dates in September.
“Playing for Time (Dark-Side Mix)” is a sweeping ballad that finds Gabriel, as he put it in a statement, meditating on “time, mortality and memories and the idea that each of us has a planet full of memories, which get stashed inside the brain.” The song features Tom Cawley on piano, while Ed Shearmur handled the orchestral arrangement, recording those parts with several players featured in Gabriel’s New Blood Orchestra.
Gabriel shared a few more details about “Playing for Time,” noting he’d been working on the song for a long time and had performed it live without lyrics. “It’s been an important song for me,” he said, adding: “It is more of a personal song about how you assemble memories and whether we are prisoners of time or whether that is something that can actually free us. I do think it’s good to push yourself towards more bold or interesting experiences because then you will have richer memories to feed you when you get to my age. You also get taught by every meaningful experience that you go through.”
Like Gabriel’s last two i/o releases — “Panopticon” and “The Court” — “Playing for Time” was released to coincide with the full moon. And also like those last two releases, Gabriel will release a couple of different mixes of “Playing for Time” later this month: The “Dark-Side” mix out today was handled by Tchad Blake, while Mark “Spike” Stent and Hans-Martin Buff helmed the “Bright-Side Mix” and “Atmos In-Side Mix,” respectively.
Gabriel still hasn’t shared an official release date for i/o, which will be his first album of all new material since 2002’s Up (more recent releases, like Scratch My Back and New Blood, have featured cover songs and new orchestral versions of his own material). Despite that lack of a release date, however, Gabriel’s scheduled a full-fledged tour in support of i/o, starting with a European run in May.
The North American leg will kick off Sept. 8 at the Videogron Centre in Quebec City and wrap Oct. 13 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 10, at 10 a.m. local time. There will also be several pre-sales, including one for those on Gabriel’s Fan Club mailing list (March 7), and another for Citi card holders (March 8).
Peter Gabriel Tour Dates
September 8 – Quebec City, Quebec @ Videotron Centre
September 9 – Ottawa, Ontario @ Canadian Tire Centre
September 11 – Toronto, Ontario @ Scotiabank Arena
September 13 – Montreal, Quebec @ Bell Centre
September 14 – Boston, Massachusetts @ TD Garden
September 16 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ Wells Fargo Center
September 18 – New York, New York @ Madison Square Garden
September 30 – Chicago, Illinois @ United Center
October 7 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rogers Arena
October 8 – Seattle, Washington @ Climate Pledge Arena
October 11 – San Francisco, California @ Chase Center
October 13 – Los Angeles, California @ Kia Forum