John Cale has released a music video for a new single called “Lazy Day.” It’s his first song since his 2016 album M:FANS, which reworked his 1982 classic, Music for a New Society. John Cale has had a long, successful solo career, but is still best known as one of the multi-instrumentalists behind the influential rock band The Velvet Underground.
“I was so ready to finally get my new album out; fits and starts and then damn 2020 happened! A lot to say in these times,” Cale commented via press release. “Context is everything and 140 characters isn’t going to cut it! As a songwriter my truth is all tied-up in and through those songs that must wait a while longer. And then it occurred to me that I do have something for the moment, a song I’d recently completed… With the world careening out of its orbit I wanted to stop the lurch and enjoy a period where we can take our time and breathe our way back into a calmer world.”
It’s a languid track, fitting its lyrical content, with a slow drum beat ticking snare by snare. Cale’s vocals waver, floating for as long as they can stay during the chorus. A lot of layered keys and effects work in cooperation with the background vocals to make the song sound trippy. Very low pitched bass rumble completes the track.
In the music video, close-up video of Cale lounging outside in a wooden chair breaks up shots of toys in motion, Los Angeles nature and shots of the sky. Marbles roll down steps, wind-up frogs attempt to hop around a path, figurines stand about, a toy car drives off a ledge and two deer walk by. The video, directed by Abby Portner, is loosely edited in time to the steady snare hits. So each time the snare sounds, the video switches to split screen, jumps to a close up or to different angles of something. Occasional visual effects add to the psychedelic feel of the song.
Cale has appeared in a couple collaborations recently. The latest was on “Corner of My Sky” from Kelly Lee Owens’ latest record. Early in 2019, he showed up on Marissa Nadler’s “Poison.” In other recent news, Cale and Brian Eno reissued their 1990 album Wrong Way Up, which turned 30 years old yesterday although the reissue came out in August via All Saints Records.