Yesterday the unexpected news of a release date for the new Simple Minds album dropped. We will have our copies of “Direction of the Heart” on October 21st, 2022. Jim Kerr had been talking about this album that he and Mr. Bruchill had been crafting in the Covid-19 fueled downtime when they were not touring the world on their largely postponed 40th anniversary tour. Truth be told, he’s said that there was enough material written for two albums, so the unused portion probably went into the Simple Minds equivalent of Prince’s Vault, for re-examination at a later time. As history has shown us, there don’t like to waste ideas not of immediate use.
The album was recorded in Germany with Ged Grimes [bass], Sarah Brown [vocals], and Cherisse Osei [drums] adding their parts in separate UK sessions. I’d expect that most of this is the handiwork of Burchill, who programs and plays almost everything these days, but we do get some interesting news in that two songs [“First You Jump,” “Solstice Kiss”] were co-written with bassist Grimes! Kerr had teased co-writes with him some years ago for their previous album, and I’m guessing they went back into cold storage to be freshly attacked this time around. Unless they are new ones that clicked early out.
The most fascinating thing that’s been said about this album is that there are guest appearances by two of my favorite musicians! Russell Mael of Sparks appears as does Gary Clark, of Danny Wilson; the excellent Scot combo that Ged Grimes hailed from! Presumably these two will feature in a vocal capacity. The last time that Simple Minds had a high profile guest star was maybe Herbie Hancock performing the solo on “Hunter + The Hunted” 40 years ago! I can’t wait to hear how they fit into the new album.
Simple Minds: Direction of The Heart – UK – DLX CD 
- Vision Thing
- First You Jump
- Human Traffic
- Who Killed Truth?
- Solstice Kiss
- Act of Love
- Planet Zero
- The Walls Came Down
- Direction of the Heart (Taormina 2022)
The LP/Cassette/CD all have nine tracks, with the bonus two shown above only on the deluxe casebook CD and the DL, of course. So you know which one I’ll be pre-ordering. “Act of Love,” the DL from early this year, we know, of course. I was thinking at the time that it was a one-off single, but they’ve conscripted it into the album. As they also have with the title track, ironically only available on the deluxe edition.
Hardcore fans have heard it back in 2018 when the DLX bundle of “Walk Between Worlds” came with a 7″ of “Magic” with this as the non-LP B-side. It was a good number, but it’s definitely been re-recorded as it now sports a “Taormina 2022” parenthetical addition. The album was produced by Simple Minds with Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg pitching in. Basically, the same team that brought you the last two Simple Minds albums.
Some of the song titles are interesting. “Who Killed Truth?” sure speaks to the now! “Planet Zero” we’ve been teased for at least for a decade with Jim Kerr’s blog postings on simpleminds.com. Now we get to actually hear it. “Human Traffic” sounds like a pretty hard hitting title… but so did “Blood Diamonds” which was far from a political song. Track number nine give me cold chills. I sure hope it isn’t a cover of the song by The Call! Haven’t this band covered The Call enough by now? And let me state that cover versions are nowhere near their strengths as a band. The second advance single is “Vision Thing.” Not to be confused with the Sisters Of Mercy classic! A listen to 90 seconds on iTunes [the only platform I can hear it on] was inconclusive. A mid-tempo track that sounded like the production style of the last album …minus any thrills. Well, 90 seconds isn’t much to go by.
We have six formats to choose from. Four analog and two digital. I’m for the last one. But it bears mentioning that for the last album in 2018, I pre-ordered a £30 bundle that included, LP/CD + bonus tracks/7″ single [red]. This time just the CD + bonus tracks is $27.98. And judging from the pack shot, the cassette simply comes in an O-card… shocking!
Heavyweight Black LP
Indie Store Orange LP
All of these except the orange vinyl LP are available from the band’s official store. The last album was a top five item on the UK album charts in 2018, but it was also their best album since 1984. Can the band maintain their artistic momentum? The new single was not conclusive. “Act of Love” was good, but I didn’t expect it to be on this album. We’ve got plenty of time until October, so I’ll probably pre-order the DLX CD before then. The buttons below are a good staring point.
Official Band Store
Orange Indie LP – Rough Trade UK