Recorded entirely on acoustic instruments, and predominantly performed by Paul, Seven Psalms showcases Simon’s craft at its finest and most captivating, simply with his voice and guitar. Intended to be listened to as one continuous piece, the 33-minute, seven-movement composition transcends the concept of the “album”.
A stunning, intricately layered work, it’s a record which establishes an engaging and meditative, almost hymnal soundscape, with Paul’s lyrics providing the gravitational center for constellations of sound woven from guitar strings and other acoustic instrumentation – including choral elements from the highly-regarded British vocal ensemble VOCES8, and a beautiful vocal appearance by Edie Brickell.
True to the origin of psalms as hymns meant to be sung rather than spoken, Seven Psalms reaches back to the very genesis of folk music: King David’s Psalms. The result is a quietly moving musical experience which uncovers a wealth of subtle details with every repeated listen. A step apart from anything Paul Simon has released before, Seven Psalms defies categorization.
The record’s tone is complemented by its artwork, which features a close-up extract of “Two Owls” by the celebrated landscape artist Thomas Moran.