Damon Albarn has shared his latest single, the melancholy and slow-burning ‘Particles’.
The most intriguing aspect to a new Damon Albarn song is wondering what side of his style he’s going to tap into. Will it be a wild electronica album, or perhaps an experimental jazz LP. Maybe Albarn will tap into his experimental side, or maybe he’ll want to return to Britpop/alternative rock roots.
Albarn already released the title track and the song ‘Polaris’ from his upcoming LP The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows, but the title appears again in the lyrics to ‘Particles’, creating a sort of thematic continuity between the album’s tracks.
‘Particles’ is Albarn in stripped-back, half-electronic, half-acoustic mode. The song feels like it could have easily been an outtake from his 2014 debut solo LP Everyday Robots (I always find it wild that Albarn took nearly 25 years to release an album under his own name), as it fits the tone of that record perfectly.
As I write this, it’s currently raining and hazy here in my section of the States. Hurricane Ida is making its way up the east coast, having wreaked untold havoc on vulnerable southern ports like New Orleans. Last night a fair amount of lightning and high winds rattled the houses and homes, but there’s a prevailing sense of calm as we know the real destruction is happening somewhere else. There doesn’t seem to be any more appropriate setting to listen to ‘Particles’, with its eerily beautiful meditations on drifting away and burning skies.
Albarn has said that the inspiration behind The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows includes the landscapes of Iceland, and there seems to be a perfect fit between Albarn’s pastoral snow storm imagery of the songs, mixing folky acoustic guitars with icy synths, almost as if Astral Weeks had been frozen over.
Check out the audio for ‘Particles’ down below. The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows is set for a November 12 release.