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Yusuf/Cat Stevens Embarks on a Journey to Self-Discovery With ‘On the Road to Find Out’

“I like the gritty desert blues sound of my new version,” songwriter says. “It echoes the dangerous mood of the world out there”

Gearing up for the release of Tea for the Tillerman² on September 18th — his rerecorded version of his 1970 album  — Yusuf/Cat Stevens unveiled a video for “On the Road to Find Out.”

“On the Road to Find Out” was inspired by Yusuf’s battle with tuberculosis in the late Sixties. He filled his time recovering with meditating and reading, most notably Paul Brunton’s The Secret Path. The original version is a buoyant song about renewal and self-discovery. “Well sometimes you have to moan/When nothing seems to suit you,” he sings. “But never the less you know/You’re locked toward the future.”

The rerecorded version is much starker than the original, featuring Yusuf’s deep, soulful register with slow-burning instrumentation. “The life of this song has a longevity and meaning because of its relativity to everyone’s journey,” Yusuf tells Rolling Stone. “We start out from home to unearth our destiny and then experience the harsh storms of the great outdoors. The journey ends with the abandonment of possessions and realization that the answer was within us all the time. I like the gritty desert blues sound of my new version; it echoes the dangerous mood of the world out there.”

In the accompanying video, directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch and Melora Donoghue, a man strenuously carries artifacts across the desert that represent his ties to the material world. When he comes across a flower, he rids himself of the baggage and walks across the sand, free. Similar to the previous video for “Where Do the Children Play?” the clip used all-natural light and no generators nor electricity; props were donated for recycling after the shoot.

Tea for the Tillerman² is available for preorder in CD and vinyl, pressed on either standard black or an exclusive edition in blue.

From Rolling Stone US