17-time Grammy Award winning musician Sting has announced The Bridge, a brand-new album to be released on November 19 via UMC/Polydor and available for pre-order here (full track listing included below). The first single, “If It’s Love” is out now.
The Bridge showcases Sting’s prolific and diverse songwriting prowess, with this new set of songs representing styles and genres explored throughout his unrivalled career. The lead track “If It’s Love” premiered today on BBC Radio 2 and is available now on all digital platforms. The upbeat, breezy and infectious pop tune exhibits his undeniable gift for melody. In his signature voice, and taking a different approach to a straight-forward love song, Sting likens contemplating his romantic feelings to calling the doctor about his symptoms.
“I’m certainly not the first songwriter to equate falling in or out of love with an incurable sickness, nor will I be the last,” says Sting. “’If It’s Love’ is my addition to that canon where the tropes of metaphorical symptoms, diagnosis, and downright incapacity are all familiar enough to make each of us smile ruefully.”
The Bridge was written in a year of global pandemic and finds Sting ruminating on personal loss, separation, disruption, lockdown, and extraordinary social and political turmoil.
Exploring a multitude of concepts and themes, a “bridge” represents the enduring and ever-evolving link between ideas, cultures, continents, and even the banks of a river. It’s also a route into the past, and so it was that Sting found himself considering the music and the places that have formed his own foundations, and that indeed are embedded in his very DNA.
He explains, “These songs are between one place and another, between one state of mind and another, between life and death, between relationships. Between pandemics, and between eras – politically, socially and psychologically, all of us are stuck in the middle of something. We need a bridge.”
Representing various stages and styles from throughout his career and drawing inspiration from genres including rock n’ roll, jazz, classical music and folk, the eclectic album features Sting’s quintessential sound on pop-rock tracks such as the album’s opening rock salvo “Rushing Water” and new indie-pop sounding “If It’s Love,” to the smoldering electronic ballad “Loving You” and the romantic “For Her Love” which evokes Sting’s trademark “Fields of Gold” period. “The Book of Numbers,” “Harmony Road” and “The Bells of St. Thomas” showcase Sting’s collaboration with his long-time guitarist/“right and left-hand,” Dominic Miller.
Written and recorded over the last year in lockdown, a coterie of trusted musicians beamed into Sting’s studio remotely including Dominic Miller (guitar), Josh Freese (drums), Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Manu Katché (drums), Martin Kierszenbaum (keyboards), Fred Renaudin (synthesizer) and backing vocalists Melissa Musique, Gene Noble, Jo Lawry and Laila Biali, The Bridge’s influences are vast; from grappling with the murky origins of the folk ballads in Cecil Sharp’s ‘Collection of English Folk Songs’, to J. Robert Oppenheimer, from the Roman history of Northumbria to Saint Thomas.
All songs on The Bridge are produced by Sting and Martin Kierszenbaum, except “Loving You” produced by Sting, Maya Jane Coles and Martin Kierszenbaum. The album was mixed by Robert Orton, engineered by Donal Hodgson and Tony Lake, and mastered by Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering.
The Bridge will be released in multiple formats, including standard and deluxe CD and vinyl, Japanese Exclusive standard and deluxe albums, all digital streaming and download platforms, as well as a music cassette. The deluxe CD and vinyl will include bonus tracks “Waters of Tyne,” “Captain Bateman’s Basement,” and “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” Both Japanese exclusives will be on SHM-CD including the additional bonus track “I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City,” while the deluxe version will also include a DVD with an interview and track by track discussion with Sting, as well as music videos for “If It’s Love” and “Rushing Water.”
Later this month, Sting will return to the live arena with a performance in Sicily on September 27 followed by concerts at the historic Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens on September 30 and October 1. Soon after, he will launch My Songs: The Las Vegas Residency beginning October 29 at the The Colosseum at Caesars Palace featuring a compendium of his most beloved songs with dynamic, visual references to some of his most iconic videos and inspirations.
Sting is managed by the Cherrytree Music Company.
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The Bridge Track Listing:
1. Rushing Water
2. If It’s Love
3. The Book of Numbers
4. Loving You
5. Harmony Road
6. For Her Love
7. The Hills on the Border
8. Captain Bateman
9. The Bells of St. Thomas
10. The Bridge
11. Waters of Tyne (Deluxe bonus track)
12. Captain Bateman’s Basement (Deluxe bonus track)
13. (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay (Deluxe bonus track)
*(Japanese exclusive bonus track)
14. I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City