Paul Simon is working on a new album tentatively titled, The Seven Psalms, at Manhattan’s Reservoir Studios. The news was broken via a Facebook post by singer Barbara Fasano, who was coincidentally also recording at the studio complex and tracking a cover of Simon & Garfunkel‘s 1968 standard, “Old Friends.”
Simon’s upcoming album comes as a surprise as the soon-to-be 81-year-old singer/songwriter had previously said that he believed his record-making days were over. The Seven Psalms will be followup to 2018’s In The Blue Light, which saw him re-recording overlooked gems in his solo catalogue and marks his first new material since 2016’s Stranger To Stranger.
Fasano posted about the Simon teamup on Facebook writing, “Around 4:00, there was Mr. Simon having lunch in the communal kitchen, & I introduced myself & said I was sorry to interrupt, but we were actually about to record his song. His face lit up & he was on his feet, walking into our studio. Everyone got introduced & Paul Simon pulled out his guitar & coached us on voicings & instrumentation. In a crazy surreal moment, he began to play OLD FRIENDS on the same guitar he’s been playing on his solo records for 50 years, while I sang along. He stayed with us for nearly an hour. And then we laid down OLD FRIENDS, now sprinkled with pixie dust by this American icon.”
Not too long ago while appearing on PBS, Paul Simon explained that the songwriting process is just as mysterious as it was when he began when he was a teenager: “When the sound seems to be correct in my imagination, the story can begin. I don’t know what I’m going to write when I begin to write. It feels like you’re walking down a path, but you don’t. . . you can’t see around the bend, and you don’t know where you’re going to go — which is fun.”