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(Credit: Press / Jethro Tull)

Music

Jethro Tull release new song 'The Zealot Gene'

Prog progenitors Jethro Tull have released the title track of their latest album, The Zealot Gene. A music video has been issued to accompany the song. 

The third offering from the album, the tune follows ‘Shoshana Sleeping’ and ‘Sad City Sisters’, both of which were released in 2021. The Zealot Gene is Jethro Tull’s first studio album for nearly twenty years and features founder Ian Anderson on vocals and flute. 

Discussing the stark album portrait, Anderson admitted that the posture was a deliberate move on his part. “I deliberately shot the picture as a self-portrait, because I wanted to illustrate particularly the title track, which is about the extreme populistic streams of political and social divisions that are aided and abetted by social media,” he said. “Some people might think that the model for the song is Donald Trump but, in fact, it’s about six or eight people whose names immediately come to mind as populist national leaders – whether they are operating within a pseudo-democracy or whether they are in a more or less dictatorship position.”

The album will be released on January 28th and will be available in both CD and vinyl format. The package will also contain liner notes, an exclusive interview with Anderson, plus an art book. Originally slated for a release in 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic was a key factor in the delay of the album. 

“Amidst the concerns and warnings of the scientific community and a few more enlightened politicians, we all retreated in disbelief to our homes to wait out the storm,” singer-songwriter Ian Anderson writes in a statement.

 “While I have a spot of genuine fondness for the pomp and fairytale storytelling of the Holy Book, I still feel the need to question and draw sometimes unholy parallels from the text,” he added. “The good, the bad and the downright ugly rear their heads throughout, but are punctuated with elements of love, respect and tenderness.”

Presciently, many of the tracks reflect the shifting landscape, from the perspective of an outside voice: “The title track offers many allusions to the radical, politically charged world of populism in leadership. As a song lyric, it sums up, for me, the divisive nature of societal relationships and the extreme views which fuel the fires of hate and prejudice, more so today, perhaps, than at any time in history.”

Stream the track, below.