Review: Peter Gabriel – ‘The Veil’

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Poignant

Gabriel showcases his lyrical prowess in telling the controversial yet powerful story of Edward Snowden for Oliver Stone's upcoming biopic.

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Since 2002’s Up, Peter Gabriel’s lack of a full-length studio album has caused fans more than a decade of waiting for new, original material. Since, Gabriel has released several records, but none of which are actual LPs: 2010’s Scratch My Back is a collection of covers, and 2011’s New Blood is a collection of earlier songs recorded with an orchestra. He also contributed to the WALL-E soundtrack in 2008, with the track ‘Down To Earth’. This June saw the release of ‘I’m Amazing’ in tribute to the late and great Muhammad Ali, although the song had been written seven years prior, a and his latest track has been exclusively written for Snowden, Oliver Stone’s new biopic, making it the newest release from Gabriel since 2002.

He doesn’t disappoint – ‘The Veil’ is instantly recognisable as a Gabriel song, especially post-2002, being his usual concoction of art rock, world beat, and experimental music with a steady technological aura accompanying its focal point of Edward Snowden. Gabriel is a master when it comes to lyrical composition in his own right, but here he draws from Snowden’s story fantastically. Listening to this without knowing the subject matter you can make up your own story, but having a small inkling as to who the song is about clicks every lyric into place. “Some say you’re a patriot / Some call you a spy / An American hero / Or a traitor that deserves to die,” Gabriel sings. “In the heart of the free world / In the home of the brave / You gave up everything / To bring down the veil.”

In addition to the new track, Gabriel also issued a statement in regards to his affliation with the upcoming biopic. “As we become so visible in the digital world and leave an endless trail of data behind us, exactly who has our data and what they do with it becomes increasingly important,” Gabriel states. “Snowden’s revelations shocked the world and made it very clear why we need to have some way to look over those who look over us. With increasing terrorist attacks, security is critical, but not without any accountability or oversight.”

“I was very happy to learn Oliver Stone had decided to make a film about Edward Snowden and believe this is a powerful and inspiring film,” Gabriel adds. “Oliver takes his music very seriously and I have always enjoyed collaborating with him and [music supervisor]Budd Carr.”

‘The Veil’ is out now via Peter Gabriel Ltd.

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

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