This morning BBC Radio 2 announced that Simple Minds will be headlining the first night of Radio 2’s 30,000-capacity Live In Leeds concert on Saturday 17th September. Following this news, BMG release ‘Vision Thing’, the first track to be taken from the band’s eighteenth studio album Direction Of The Heart.
Currently playing acclaimed shows throughout Europe (“Back in fashion and back on thrilling form.” The Times), Direction Of The Heart is Simple Minds’ first album of new material since 2018’s outstanding UK Top 5 album Walk Between Worlds. Throughout its nine tracks Direction of The Heart finds the band at their most confident, anthemic best on an inspired celebration of life, none more so than on lead track ‘Vision Thing’.
‘Vision Thing’ is a euphoric song - all pounding drums, synth washes and the unmistakable guitar-playing of Simple Minds’ lifelong six-string wonder, Charlie Burchill. With music written by Burchill and lyrics by frontman Jim Kerr the song is a tribute to Kerr’s “best pal”, his late father who passed away in 2019.
Listen to ‘Vision Thing’ - BELOW:
Direction Of The Heart’s opening track, ‘Vision Thing’ sets the pace for a concise nine-track album. One which manages to perfectly encapsulate the essence of past and present Simple Minds, a band whose reascent over the past 10 years has seen them, once again, capture the magic and critical praise of their early days.
Most of Direction Of The Heart’s tracks were created and demoed in Sicily, where both Kerr and Burchill live. Unable to come to the UK because of quarantine rules, the album was recorded at Hamburg’s Chameleon Studios. Here they produced the album (later enlisting Andy Wright ((Massive Attack, Echo & The Bunnymen)) and Gavin Goldberg ((Simply Red, KT Tunstall)) for additional production). Band members, bassist Ged Grimes (who co-wrote two of the new songs, ‘First You Jump’ and ‘Solstice Kiss’), drummer Cherisse Osei and vocalist Sarah Brown joined them on some of the tracks, recording their parts separately in London. Album guests, Sparks’ frontman Russell Mael (‘Human Traffic’) and songwriter and former Grimes music partner from Danny Wilson, Gary Clark (‘Vision Thing’, ‘First You Jump’ and ‘Natural’), recorded their respective parts in home studios.
All of this disparate work is belied by an album which sounds like a cohesive record – one of the most exciting and invigorating of Simple Minds career to date.
Jim Kerr on Direction Of The Heart: “How to make a feel-good ‘Electro-rock’ record, during the very worst of times? Direction Of The Heart is the result of that challenge. Who would have thought we’d have so much fun creating it?”
1. Vision Thing
2. First You Jump
3. Human Traffic (featuring Russell Mael of Sparks)
4. Who Killed Truth?
5. Solstice Kiss
6. Act Of Love
8. Planet Zero
9. The Walls Came Down (written and originally recorded by The Call)
Direction Of The Heart will be released on 21 October, available on CD, Deluxe CD with two extra tracks and a hardback book, vinyl including coloured vinyl, and cassette.
Bonus tracks on Deluxe edition/s:
1. Direction Of The Heart (Taormina 2022)
Following their recently successful rescheduled 2020 tour, Simple Minds will be playing special UK shows throughout the summer:
18 June Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
9 August Custom House Square, Belfast
11 August Audley End House, Essex
12 August Edinburgh Summer Sessions
13 August New Gold Dream album performance for UNICEF, Edinburgh
Simple Minds are Jim Kerr (vocals), Charlie Burchill (guitars, keyboards), Gordy Goudie (acoustic guitar), Ged Grimes (bass), Cherisse Osei (drums), Berenice Scott (keyboards) and Sarah Brown (vocals).