As we enter a new full-moon phase, so we have a brand new Peter Gabriel single to enjoy. You can listen to the jaunty, uptempo Bright Side mix of Olive Tree below. It's the eighth single to be released from Gabriel's upcoming new i/o album, and was aired on Gabriel's recent European tour.
According to the statement accompanying the release, Olive Tree is a song about connection, examining the ways nature interacts and exploring the potential for broadening human experience.
"In some ways I do think we are part of everything and we probably have means to connect and communicate with everything that we often shut off," Gabriel explains. "We only want to see and listen to the things that seem important and relevant to us and shut out the noise of everything else when, probably, hidden in that noise there are all sorts of things that can help us realise our place in this future world.
"I wanted it to have some speed to it but I also wanted some mystery, too. I think it is a celebration in a way and there's a real sense of being alive."
The song is also part of a brain-related project Peter is currently working on, and is influenced by the brain-reading research of Jack Gallant’s Lab at Berkeley and Mary Lou Jepsen’s work at Openwater. Both are engaged in ongoing research into cognitive systems and computational neuroscience.
"It feeds into this idea that we're no longer these islands that have our own private thoughts, that our thoughts are going to get opened up to the outside world," Gabriel continues. "The lubrication that allows society to function is based, in part, on not being able to read what's going on in other people's minds, so unless we get more comfortable with how we really are, we're probably going to prefer to stay partly buried in our private worlds."
Like the previous singles from i/o, Olive Tree comes with new artwork, this time by artist Barthélémy Toguo, with his work Chroniques avec la Nature.
"I was aware of Barthélémy Toguo’s work, which I found very haunting and very strong, but I first met him at WOMAD in 2015, when he came as artist in residence," says Gabriel. "I wasn't talking about this project at that time, but when I was thinking about re-connecting to nature and his work seemed ideal. I think it's super strong and looks wonderful on stage.
"Barthélémy listened to the song and his piece was created as a direct response to the music, which hasn't always been the case with the other artists, but he was determined that he should generate something new and I'm very glad he did, it's wonderful."
This month, August, sees two full moons, so expect a new Gabriel single to be released in 28 days time.