Peter Gabriel releases brand new single Love Can Heal, a tribute to murdered MP Jo Cox

Peter Gabriel headshot
(Image credit: Michele Turriani)

It's the second full-moon of August and a brand new Peter Gabriel single has been released. You can listen to the gentle Love Can Heal, a tribute to murdered MP Jo Cox, below. Like preceding singles, Love Can Heal was performed on Gabriel's recent European tour, but actually had its live debut during Peter Gabriel and Sting’s Rock, Paper, Scissors tour of the North America of 2016. 

"A dreamy, experiential piece with some abstract imagery," says Gabriel of the new song. "A carpet of sound, a tapestry where things are woven together, but not necessarily supposed to stick out, but just form part of a whole."

"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."

As with Gabriel's previous singles, Love Can Heal features brand new artwork, this time by artist Antony Micallef and his work ‘a small painting of what I think love looks like’. You can see the artwork below.

"Antony Micallef is a stunning painter," exclaims Gabriel. "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."

Gabriel is currently on tour in the US.

Peter Gabriel

(Image credit: Antony Micallef)
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.