Peter Gabriel – “This Is Home”
Peter Gabriel still hasn’t released his long-awaited new album i/o, but he’s released a large percentage of it in the form of singles. The latest to emerge is “This Is Home,” which he’s been playing on tour this year. It’s a love song, with production choices Gabriel describes as “less radio-friendly but more Gabriel,” and one of the producers was none other than Skrillex.
The first of several Gabriel statements on the track:
It’s a love song. It began with inspiration from some of the great Tamla Motown rhythm sections so we’re trying to recreate that in a modern way, complete with the tambourine and handclaps. The groove I like a lot, Tony Levin does a great bass part there.
I did an unusual thing for me in that I tried doing this low voice / high voice thing, so you get this almost conversational voice at the beginning and the second part is a higher, more emotional voice. I thought that would be both intimate and emotive to put the two side by side.
Here’s his take on Skrillex’s involvement:
I’d had a call from Skrillex, who’s a very talented musician, and I thought it would be interesting to see what he had in mind, so he came to my home studio and we sat down and talked and tried to evolve bits and pieces and it was mainly for this song. He was trying to encourage me to write a song about staying up all night in a night club and that sort of thing, but that’s not really my life so I made it more about family and home and I like it. Though we took the song in this other direction it was an interesting experience nonetheless, and I think it is good for me to be taken outside my normal comfort zone sometimes.
And here’s a comment on the role of the Swedish male voice choir Orphei Drängar and orchestral arranger John Metcalfe:
I think it’s got a groove but unlike most pop songs that have a middle eight or bridge this has two and they are both quite different. The first one is atmospheric and dreamy and we have this amazing all male choir which comes in slowly into this dreamy, garden-like section. The choir, Orphei Drängar, are based in Sweden and I think they get a fantastic sound, it’s dark, stirring and emotional. The strings in the other middle section I really like, it’s quite catchy, poppy in a way. I think John picked up on what I was trying to go for there and did a beautiful job, as always.
Below, hear “This Is Home” and watch Gabriel’s comments on the song, recorded onstage at his Columbus soundcheck.