Paul McCartney’ new double A-sided single “I Don’t Know” and “Come On to Me,” made its world debut Wednesday, arriving after a week of mysterious picture clues posted by the McCartney team on social media. McCartney also announced he’ll release a new album, “Egypt Station,” on Sept. 7, for which each track but one was produced by Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Beck, Kelly Clarkson).
“I Don’t Know” is a somber ballad of the type McCartney has been long known for: “I’ve got crows out my window, dogs out my door, I don’t think I can take any more. What am I doing wrong, I don’t know,” McCartney sings pensively. On the other side “Come On To Me” is a bouncy rocker. The latter caught fans by surprise when it was played during a brief concert at the Philharmonic Pub in Liverpool during his outing with James Corden to film “Carpool Karaoke.” The segment will air Thursday night on CBS’ “Late Late Show.” Corden teased the show on YouTube.
McCartney spoke with the BBC about the album last year. “I’m working with a producer I first worked with two years ago on a piece of music I’m doing for an animated film. Since then, he went on to work with Beck and Adele and [won multiple Grammys], so my only worry is, people are going to go: ‘Oh there’s Paul going with the flavor of the month.’ But he’s a great guy called Greg Kurstin and he’s very musical and he’s great to work with.”
For his part, Kurstin told Entertainment Weekly, “All I can say is that when he brings songs to the studio, it blows my mind that he’s still coming up with the most amazing songs. I feel like he’s topping himself.”
“Egypt Station” is also the title of a painting by McCartney that was auctioned in years past. “I liked the words ‘Egypt Station,’ McCartney said in a statement. “It reminded me of the ‘album’ albums we used to make. ‘Egypt Station’ starts off at the station on the first song and then each song is like a different station. So it gave us some idea to base all the songs around that.” The announcement said the new album has 14 songs that resemble a travelogue bookmarked with opening and closing instrumentals “Station I” and “Station II.” Other song titles include “Happy With You,” “People Want Peace” and “Despite Repeated Warnings.”
McCartney told BBC interviewer Jo Whiley Wednesday that doing the “Carpool Karaoke” segment was fun, but going back to his childhood home was an emotional experience. “They’ve made (it) into a National Trust house and I’d always heard about it and what I would do normally when I’m up in Liverpool, I’ll just drive up and pull up outside it and then say to whoever I’m with in the car, “OK, that was my old room there, this is where we used to live” and I’ll tell them a few stories and I’d drive off – I’d never go in. But James wanted to go in, so for the first time since I lived there, we went in and wow – it was kind of shocking,” he said. “But it was great. It was really exciting to go round – ‘Oh, there’s where my dad washed the dishes’ and all this. It sparked off a lot of nice memories for me.”
In a separate interview with DIY, he confirmed the long-rumored release of a 50th anniversary edition for The Beatles’ “White Album.” “It’s all in place, I’ve just got a couple of essays [to approve]. It’s all lined up and it’s really good,” he said. “The album itself [‘The White Album’] is very cool and it sounds like you’re in the room; that’s the great thing about doing remasters. But we’ve also got some demos of the songs, so you get things stripped right back to just John’s voice and a guitar. You just think, how f—ing good was John?! Amazing.”
McCartney also told the BBC’s Whiley he has no plans to retire and, in fact, has a very busy few months ahead. “I was talking to – name dropping, clunk – Willie Nelson. I was talking about this whole retiring thing, ‘cause you know he’s older than I am! And he says, ‘Retire from what?’ and I think that just says it. You know, ‘Retire from what?’. So no, I love it, I enjoy it so we’re going to do some little gigs in July. Don’t know what those are going to be yet. Note to self, must try and figure it out ‘cause they’re approaching fast and then we do some bigger productions and things after that.”