Blur/Gorillaz/The Good, The Bad, & The Queen singer, Damon Albarn, has announced the release of a new solo studio album, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows.
The LP comes as somewhat of a surprise since Albarn is famously averse to releasing music under his own name, but the new material is not without precedence. The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows will be Albarn’s second under his own name after 2014’s quietly meditative Everyday Robots.
Albarn found inspiration for the new record in the majestic natural landscapes of Iceland because when you’re one of the most successful and prolific rock stars in the world, writing about having a fit bird doesn’t exactly cut it anymore.
“[Iceland] is a nice place to meditate on the elements and particles,” Albarn explained to NME. “I’d been dreaming on making music while looking out of that window, when my friend from the Lyon Festival offered me the very tempting proposition of ‘You can do whatever you want’. I had immediately had something that I never thought would be feasible, so I organised musicians, string players, three bass trombones, some percussion and keyboards into an interesting arrangement.”
The album began as a live orchestral performance, but Albarn reworked the material into more traditional song structures once the pandemic hit.
“I took some of these realtime, extreme elemental experiences and then tried to develop more formal pop songs with that as my source. I wanted to see where that would take me. Sometimes it took me down to Uruguay and Montevideo. Other times I went to Iran, Iceland or Devon. With travel being curtailed, it was kind of nice to be able to make a record that put me strangely in those places for a moment or two.”
Albarn is clearly a workaholic who needs help. Last year, during a time where most musicians took it easy and focused on not getting sick and dying, Albarn kept busy by releasing a new Gorillaz LP Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. Apparently he worked so diligently that a sequel is set to be released sometime this year.
The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows will be released on November 12. Pre-order links can be found here.
The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows track listing:
- ‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’
- ‘The Cormorant’
- ‘Royal Morning Blue’
- ‘Daft Wader’
- ‘Darkness To Light’
- ‘The Tower Of Montevideo’
- ‘Giraffe Trumpet Sea’