John Cale, ever restless, returns with the deeply collaborative 'Mercy' The Welsh-born artist, a co-founder of The Velvet Underground, has been relentlessly creating for nearly 60 years. On his new album, he sounds as alive as ever.

John Cale, ever restless, returns with the deeply collaborative 'Mercy'

John Cale, ever restless, returns with the deeply collaborative 'Mercy'

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John Cale. Marlene Marino/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Marlene Marino/Courtesy of the artist

John Cale.

Marlene Marino/Courtesy of the artist

"If you go and end up in a corner that you feel uncomfortable in, something will happen and you'll come up with a solution," explains the influential, always restless John Cale. "That's kind of my mantra."

Since co-founding The Velvet Underground with Lou Reed late in 1964, he's done exactly that, time and time again, whether on his own, deeply alive records, as a producer for other envelope-pushers (Sham 69, The Modern Lovers, Nico) or as a composer for film.

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Now an octogenarian, Cale returned to that uncomfortable corner for two-and-a-half years to create Mercy, his first new album of original material in over 10 years. The record features deep collaborations with more vernal, still wildly imaginative musicians – including avant-dance producer Actress, the expansionist vision of folk singer-songwriter Weyes Blood and the silty slink of Fat White Family, among others.

To hear the full conversation, use the audio player at the top of this page.