Galen & Paul is the brand-new project from: Paul Simonon, bassist with The Clash, Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad and The Queen; and Galen Ayers, the singer-songwriter whose artistic projects include the rightly acclaimed solo album ‘Monument’. The duo is set to release their debut album together, ‘Can We Do Tomorrow Another Day?’, on May 19th, a collection of bilingual duets in which they explore an eclectic array of European music cultures, while also capturing evocative vignettes of life across the continent. They preview the project by sharing its lead single ‘Lonely Town’ accompanied by its official video filmed in Deia, Mallorca. Listen HERE.
The roots of the album began in lockdown. Paul headed to a Mallorcan fishing village, where he spent his time writing songs and painting his impressions of the stunning locales. As restrictions lifted, he spread his wings: some days he might spend his time working with local musicians, on others he might busk in front of cafes in Palma. What was intended to be a short change of pace turned into an 18-month escape. When he finally headed back to London, he further developed his ideas with his friend Galen, with both bonding over a love of sparse, evocative songwriting.
Paul says, “I remember how when I was in The Clash, our manager Bernie Rhodes would tell us that Andrew Loog Oldham locked Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in their kitchen. He said, ‘I’m not letting you out until you’ve written a song.’ That’s effectively what Galen and I did. We would spend every evening writing yet another song.”
Galen adds, “What I came to realise pretty early on, is that on many occasions we would finish a song but I’d be left with a niggling feeling. I’d say to Paul: ‘I know everybody loves this, but I think it needs something more.’ And he’d say, ‘Me too.’ And we’d go back to our writing table until we were both satisfied. And that’s why I’m so confident about our collaboration, that I know we have that. So the sky is the limit.”
What emerged was a collection of ten uplifting songs which collectively presents a snapshot of pan-European music culture. Led by Galen’s gorgeous voice as she duets with Paul, both singing in both English and Spanish, the resulting album journeys across the continent, taking in French chansons, Spanish
The album’s opening track and first single ‘Lonely Town’ also vividly depicts an image, one that’s both precise to one specific location and played out across Europe. Written solely by Paul during his Mallorcan sojourn, ‘Lonely Town’ laments the ghost town chill that remains in an out-of-season holiday destination after wealthy expats and tourists depart for the winter.
‘Can We Do Tomorrow Another Day?’ features an array of top tier talent. It was produced by the legendary Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T-Rex, Sparks) with a band consisting of Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good, The Bad and The Queen), Sebastian Rochford (Polar Bear, David Byrne, Patti Smith) and Dan Donovan (Big Audio Dynamite), with Damon Albarn playing on melodica on a number of tracks.
The album is now available to pre-order / pre-save HERE. In addition to standard digital, vinyl and CD formats, a pink vinyl edition will be available exclusively in-store from select indie retailers. The duo’s official store also stocks a deluxe white vinyl with an art card, signed LPs and CDs, and a selection of album/merch bundles.