Damon Albarn of Blur/Gorillaz announced a new solo album called The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows, set to be released on November 12 via Transgressive Records. He shared the title track from the record as the lead single.
It’s a near-ambient ballad inspired by the John Clare poem Love and Memory, which is where the release’s title comes from. Albarn sings during the chorus, “To think of life, that did laugh on your face/In the beautiful past left so desolate now/When you’ve seemed immortal/So sweet it did we/Heaven’s halo around you.” A subtle string part, synth pads and piano softly play beneath his vocals.
Albarn said of the album, “I have been on my own dark journey while making this record and it led me to believe that a pure source might still exist.” When he performed some of the songs from the LP during an isolation livestream, he stated that it was also inspired by the landscapes of Iceland. He also played some of the songs during his appearance at the Glastonbury Festival’s Live At Worthy Farm livestream event.
Although Albarn has released several albums outside of his Blur/Gorillaz/The Good, The Bad & The Queen projects including his 2002 collaboration with Afel Bocoum and Toumani Diabaté, his 2014 release Everyday Robots was considered to be his official debut solo album, which makes this the follow-up to that.
He signed to Transgressive Records for the release due to the good relationship he’s built with them by collaborating with Africa Express over the past few years. He appeared on several tracks off of their 2019 album Egoli, including “Where Will This Lead Us To?” alongside Moonchild Sanelly, Radio 123 and Blue May. He also released a new album with Gorillaz last year called Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, featuring some major artists like Elton John, St. Vincent, Beck and Robert Smith.
The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows Tracklist:
1. The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows
2. The Cormorant
3. Royal Morning Blue
5. Daft Wader
6. Darkness To Light
8. The Tower Of Montevideo
9. Giraffe Trumpet Sea
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat