This week, English singer-songwriter and Genesis frontman, Peter Gabriel unveiled a new song. The new track, titled “What Lies Ahead”, is the first original music that Gabriel has released since he composed “Down To Earth”, WALL•E’s Oscar nominated theme song in 2008.
On November 20th, during a concert in Torino, Italy, all of that changed, according to Consequence of Sound.
The video, taped from the audience, features a two-minute long Italian language introduction of the song, which includes Gabriel welcoming the musicians that will be joining him onstage during this acoustic concert. Then, he began the 21-song setlist with the new, “What Lies Ahead”.
In Torino, Gabriel played the song on piano, and his playing was accompanied by a sad-yet-melodic violin part. However, it may not be rendered this way on a future album, because as Jeff Giles of Ultimate Classic Rock wrote, “you never know what Gabriel’s going to do with a track between the time he writes it and if or when it eventually makes it onto an album.”
Check out “What Lies Ahead” live from Torino:
Speaking of albums, it has been over a decade since Gabriel has released a new album of original material. The last was 2002’s Up, and since then fans have been treated to 2010’s Scratch My Back – a concept album where Gabriel covered 12 artist’s songs, in exchange for those same artists covering one of his songs; their covers became Gabriel’s 2013 release, And I’ll Scratch Yours – and New Blood in 2011, which was an orchestral re-imaginings of various tracks that span Gabriel’s career. Additionally, there have also been a series of songs that were featured in soundtracks as well during this period. So, it’s not as though Gabriel’s been inactive with these releases and two tours; however, this lack of a new album appears to be something he realizes.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, he stated that he has about 20 songs, but they are at “various stages of completion”.
The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee went on to say: “I really need to stop doing other things and lock myself away for a while. It probably hasn’t moved nearly as much as I would have liked to in the intervening time. The songs are still there but some of them I would redo now and there’s some new stuff as well … I keep arranging until the cows come home, which is sometimes a weakness.”
With the premiere of “What Lies Ahead” in Torino, we can hope that the cows have turned and are beginning to find their way home, again.