I’m back from my dissertation-induced exile to let you know that the The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. is streaming a preview of the forthcoming Peter Gabriel album Scratch My Back. The idea behind the album is straightforward: For each song that Peter Gabriel covers, the artist whose song it was will cover one of Peter’s songs. That album, to be released at a later date, is called I’ll Scratch Yours. For the moment, though, we get to enjoy a release that is remarkable not only for its breadth, but for the speed at which Gabriel – a noted perfectionist and long-time studio noodler – has produced it. Needless to say, covering tracks by Elbow, Radiohead, and Regina Spektor, among others, is a fairly bold career move at this stage in Gabriel’s career. Fortunately, it all mostly works, and the result is a decidedly intimate, engaging album full of challenging interpretations of songs both familiar and strange.
Go ahead and use the player below to hear the whole album (courtesy of The Guardian). Also, you can download a copy of Gabriel’s cover of Bon Iver’s “Flume” by following the link below the player. Lastly, the album’s out on February 15th in the UK, and March 2nd in the US. Enjoy!