has announced details of his new solo album ‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’. Check out the title track below, along with a short excerpt of our interview with Albarn.
The album started life in 2019 as, inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, before Albarn returned to the music in lockdown to develop the work into 11 tracks which “further explore themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth”. The title is taken from a John Clare poem entitled Love and Memory.
“[Iceland] is a nice place to meditate on the elements and particles,” Albarn told 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.”
Albarn continued: “I took some of these realtime, extreme elemental experiences [of Iceland] 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.”
Check back at NME soon for more of our interview with Albarn.
The album will be released digitally on November 12, along with limited edition colour vinyl formats, plus CD and cassette, as well as a deluxe version with a casebound book featuring additional photography, original scanned lyrics and artwork from Albarn, alongside a clear vinyl version of the album, a high quality digital file and a bonus 7” featuring an exclusive song from the recording sessions. Pre-order it.
The tracklist for the album is:
‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’
‘Royal Morning Blue’
‘Darkness To Light’
‘The Tower Of Montevideo’
‘Giraffe Trumpet Sea’
Meanwhile, Albarn’s upcoming solo tour dates are as follows.for tickets and more information.
21-22 February: London (Barbican)
23-24 February: Dublin (National Concert Hall)
26: Luxembourg (Philharmonie)
28: Brussels (Bozar)
1: Brussels (Bozar)
2: Eindhoven (Muziekgebouw)
4-5: Paris (Philharmonie)
6: Lyon (Auditorium)
7: Hamburg (ElbPhilharmonie)
9: Copenhagen (KB Hallen)
11: Reykjavik (Harpa)
Gorillaz meanwhile, have been, as well as .