By Robyn Collins
Yusuf/Cat Stevens has released the new song “See What Love Did to Me” from his upcoming album, The Laughing Apple. The record will come out September 15 and marks the artist’s 50th year in the music business.
“‘See What Love Did to Me’ is a song which extolls the virtue of Love and its destructive properties,” Stevens told Rolling Stone. “It’s based on a poem written by Yunus Emre, a Thirteenth Century Turkish poet. I fell upon the guitar riff back in 2006, while recording An Other Cup. It took eight years to find the right words and sentiments to marry with the joyous tune. It has musical ripples of Africa as well as India flowing through.”
Referring to the line “Like a blindfolded bumblebee, Stevens said, “Like a blindfolded bee, guided only by his heart to the bosom of the flower, Love is the greatest Divine instinct that gives us wings to fly to the supreme heights of our humanity.”
“It takes us to a garden where our minds can surrender reason in exchange for the nectar of love,” he continued. “Worship is, in essence, a state total devotion to whoever we adore the most and expressing our yearning for closeness and proximity to our Beloved and where we forever want to be.”
The Laughing Apple combines new songs with re-recordings of tracks from 1967.
“There are some I always wanted to hear differently,” the artist explained. “Many of my earlier recordings were overcooked with big band arrangements. They crowded the song out a lot of times.”
The Laughing Apple cover art is a new illustration by Yusuf, and it’s a reference his younger days when he worked as an apple-picker. Yusuf also has illustrated each of the 11 songs on The Laughing Apple in a manner reminiscent of drawings in a children’s book.
Reflecting on youth is a recurring theme in the album. “As you grow older, the sweetness of youth, as Wordsworth expressed in his poem ‘Splendour in the Grass’, get stronger. Looking back and emotionally drawing on the themes of childhood possibilities and disappointments is what exemplifies this album, for me.”
Full tracklist of ‘The Laughing Apple’:
- Blackness of the Night
- See What Love Did to Me
- The Laughing Apple
- Olive Hill
- Mighty Peace
- Mary and the Little Lamb
- You Can Do (Whatever)!
- Northern Wind (Death of Billy the Kid)
- Don’t Blame Them
- I’m So Sleepy