By Lola Augustine Brown
Robert Plant fans will be happy to learn that the recently released single “The May Queen” heralds a new studio album coming out this fall.
Carry Fire is the 11th studio album from the former Led Zeppelin lead singer and like the last one—the 2014 release Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar—features his backing band, the Sensational Shape Shifters. Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders joins him for a duet cover of the rockabilly hit “Bluebirds Over the Mountain.”
Saying that he feels driven to “mix old with new, ” Plant promised “exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody, and instrumentation” on the new album. According to a press release, that instrumentation will include the oud (a Middle Eastern lute), djembe (a West African drum), and bendir (a West North African percussion instrument).
And lest you suspect the title of the single is a reference to the May Queen mentioned in Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” Plant insists that his use of the phrase was unintentional.
Carry Fire will be released on October 13, and Plant has announced that he and his band will be touring the UK in November and December, though no North American dates have been mentioned. Those who choose to preorder Carry Fire from Plant’s website (robertplant.com) can download “The May Queen” and will receive a limited-edition print based on the album artwork.