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Robert Plant Drops Song ‘The May Queen’ From New Album ‘Carry Fire’

Robert Plant and his band the Sensational Shape Shifters return with a new album, “Carry Fire,” out on Nonesuch/Warner Bros. October 13. It is preceded by the track “The May Queen,” which finds the outfit continuing with the Eastern-tinged vibe of the group’s previous outing, 2014’s “… Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar.” According to a press release, instruments used on the new album include a t’bal, a bendir, an oud, a bendir and a djembe.

Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde joins Plant on a cover of rockabilly icon Ersel Hickey’s “Bluebirds Over the Mountain.” Plant produced the album, his eleventh as a solo artist. The track list appears below, which is followed on the press release by an unexplained Welsh quotation that, according to Google Translate, means “Celebrity is made, word quarrels armies, harpist of fraud.” Rock and roll!

“I respect and relish my past works but each time I feel the lure and incentive to create new work,” Plant says of the album. “I must mix old with new. Consequently the whole impetus of the band has moved on its axis somewhat, the new sound and different space giving way to exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation.” Still, the new song has flashes of an acoustic Middle Eastern/folk fusion Plant has pursued for much of his career, beginning with tracks like “Friends” from 1970’s “Led Zeppelin III” (and of course there’s a “May queen” mentioned in the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven”).

A world tour will start in the U.K. in November. The band’s lineup consists of keyboardist John Baggott, drummer Dave Smith, guitarists Justin Adams and Liam Tyson and violist Seth Lakeman.

  1. The May Queen
  2. New World…
  3. Season’s Song
  4. Dance With You Tonight
  5. Carving Up The World Again… a wall and not a fence
  6. A Way With Words
  7. Carry Fire
  8. Bones Of Saints
  9. Keep It Hid
  10. Bluebirds Over The Mountain
  11. Heaven Sent

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