hmv's Albums of 2014: Damon Albarn
Every day throughout January we're going to be previewing 2014's biggest records. Today we look at Blur mainman Damon Albarn as he prepares to release his first solo album...
A little background…
Since Blur’s (let's be honest) final album, Think Tank, in 2003, Damon Albarn been very busy indeed. He’s worked on a range of projects including Gorillaz with pal Jamie Hewlett, The Good, The Bad and The Queen with producer Danger Mouse, as well as Rocket Juice and the Moon, featuring legendary afrobeat drummer Tony Allen and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers. In addition, he’s released two albums of African music in conjunction with a range of musicians from Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo and produced a record by Bobby Womack, even finding time to write a Chinese opera named Monkey: Journey to the West. In fact, the only thing he hasn’t done over the last decade is release a solo album under his own name. That’s soon to be put right though, with a solo debut coming in 2014.
What’s it called?
Albarn confirmed the albums title on Twitter this week, saying that the album will be called Everyday Robots, as well as posting an image of the cover artwork (see below).
What will it sound like?
Damon Albarn's music is nothing if not eclectic, so there will no doubt be lots of variety on the new record. The title track is a down-tempo, piano-led lament on our obsession with technology and how this impedes our interaction with each other, with a clear electronic / hip-hop influence in its drums and percussion, but as yet the only other preview came by way of a live performance at Sundance, so we guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Who’s producing it? Are there any big-name guests?
Albarn has been working with producer and XL Records boss Richard Russell, the pair co-producing the new record between them. The singer has also confirmed that here will be appearances from Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan and Brian Eno.
Will it really come out this year? And when?
Yep, It’s happening. The release date has been announced as April 28 and the video for the title track and lead single premiered this week, as well as a track listing for the album, both of which you can find below: