Exclusive: Suzanne Vega streams entire new album online ahead of release

The legendary lyricist reveals 'Tales from the Realms of the Queen of Pentangles' - and a self-penned track-by-track guide - for the first time

Suzanne Vega has streamed her entire new album, Tales from the Realms of the Queen of Pentangles, exclusively online ahead of its official release date on 3 February.

Scroll down to listen to the stream and read Vega’s track-by-track in full

The legendary singer-songwriter has unveiled 10 new songs, each of which tells a story on the merging of the material and spiritual world, she writes.

The eclectic tracks range from guitar-driven, atmospheric soundscapes to classic folk. Meanwhile, “Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain” sees Vega experiment with sampling for the first time – that sample rather randomly being rapper 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop”.

"I had kernels of songs recorded mostly on my iPhone – recordings with melodies, lyrics, notes and pieces of ideas," Vega says of the making of the album. "Gerry Leonard [producer, David Bowie] and I began getting together once a week in my manager’s office in New York City to tease out and solidify these ideas. We did this for about a year.

"We then tried the songs out on the road, adjusting the songs every night depending on how they felt live. Every night Gerry and I made changes to lyrics, melodies, keys, tempos and arrangements. "I Never Wear White" has proven itself to be a crowd favorite night after night whether we are playing in Arkansas or Tokyo."

Track-By-Track, by Suzanne Vega

“Crack in the Wall”

S: “This is a parable about how wanting too much materially leads to loss. But can be redeemed!”

“Fool’s Complaint”

S: “The Fool is free from possessions, but complains about the Queen of Pentacles, who can be nurturing, but also greedy. She comes from the world of Tarot; she is the Queen of the material world including coins (wealth), bodily health and pleasures, and earthly possessions.”

“I Never Wear White”

S: “It’s true. Here are some reasons why. Maybe you feel the same. I don’t mind if you wear it.”

“Portrait of the Knight of Wands” 

S: “Trying to figure out a friend’s terrible mood. Normally the Knight of Wands is a fiery and optimistic character so this really was a bad day for him.”

“Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain”

S: “Good advice! Or is it? A few tales that illustrate both sides.”

“Jacob and the Angel”

S: “A retelling of the story from the Bible.”

“Silver Bridge”

S: “A true story of the death of someone dear and how it seemed I saw where he had passed over.”

“Song of the Stoic”

S: “If “Luka” grew to be a man who worked say, as a roadie, this could be his story.”

“Laying on of Hands”

S: “A wry look at the times we live in. I think of The Hugging Saint and the police activity from the Occupy Wall Street movement when I think of this title.”

“There Is A Road (Horizon) for Vaclav Havel”

S: “The first verse is my own point of view. I have always been moved by the life of Vaclav Havel and the second verse encapsulates his life to the best of my ability.”

Suzanne Vega's Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentangles will be out on Cooking Vinyl on 3 February 2014

Arts and Entertainment
The new Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris
architecture

Arts and Entertainment
Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham
Downton

Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
News
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Comedy
Arts and Entertainment

Review

These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, faces new problems

Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Polly Morgan

art
Arts and Entertainment
The kid: (from left) Oona, Geraldine, Charlie and Eugene Chaplin

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised

art
Arts and Entertainment

Review: Series 5, episode 4 Downton Abbey
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

    The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album