Ahead of the June 3rd arrival of Paul Simon’s upcoming LP Stranger to Stranger, the singer has shared a howling good album cut, “The Werewolf.”
As Simon recently told Rolling Stone, the track takes it name from when Simon and his band blended the sound of the Peruvian percussion instrument Cajón with hand claps and the one-string Indian instrument gopichand, creating an almost howl-like noise that, when slowed down, appears to say “the werewolf.”
Inspired by this spooky sound, Simon went back and crafted lyrics about a mythical werewolf as an angel of death alongside imagery of capitalism at its worst. ”The fact is most obits are mixed reviews/Life is a lottery/A lot of people lose/And the grinners, the winners with money-colored eyes/Eat all the nuggets and order extra fries/The werewolf is coming,” Simon sings.
“The Werewolf” also features percussion work courtesy of Italian electronic dance music artist Clap! Clap!, who contributed beats for a handful of Stranger to Stranger tracks. “My 23-year-old son Adrian is a composer and he told me about him,” Simon said. “He takes African sound samples and puts digital dance grooves behind it. His newest album is a masterpiece. He makes music sound new and old at the same time.”
Simon is currently on tour in support of his upcoming LP, a two-month jaunt that better suits the 74-year-old legend. ”I do think about retirement. I want to see if I’ll get bored and what will happen with the bit of unborn creative impulses if I stop writing songs, which I’ve been doing since I was 12. But I just don’t know,” Simon said. “Philip Glass is one of my role models and he just keeps going. He said to me, ‘If you don’t do it, who will write a Paul Simon song?'”