Posted July 13, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes

Damon Albarn Chronicles His ‘Dark Journey’ on New Solo Album

Damon Albarn Photo Credit: Linda Brownlee
Damon Albarn Photo Credit: Linda Brownlee

A singer, songwriter, producer and composer whose eclectic musical style and observational lyrics have made him one of the UK’s most influential and consistently interesting musicians, Damon Albarn has led bands such as Blur, The Good, and The Bad & The Queen, and The Gorillaz. He’s also the recipient of six Brits, two Ivor Novello Awards and a Grammy. 

Outside of Blur and Gorillaz, Albarn has a number of other releases, including Mali Music (2002), The Good The Bad and The Queen (2006), Monkey: Journey to the West (2007), Kinshasa One Two (2011), Rocket Juice & The Moon (2012), Dr Dee (2012), Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes (2013), Africa Express Presents: The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians (2016), Merrie Land (2018), Africa Express Presents: Egoli (2019) and Mercury Award-nominated debut solo album Everyday Robots (2014).

Albarn’s new album, The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows will be released by new label home Transgressive Records on November 12. 

The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows was originally intended as an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland. This last year has seen Albarn return to the music in lockdown and develop the 11 tracks which further explore themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth. The result is a panoramic collection of songs with Albarn as storyteller. The album title is taken from a John Clare poem Love and Memory. 

“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,” says Albarn.

In a career of “perpetual musical shifts and exploration,” Albarn uncovers yet more ground, finding “expansive orchestral arrangements nestling with intimate melodies, discordance brushing up against infectious majesty, all set to some of his most arresting vocal performances to date.” The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows documents the emotional ebb and flow of the human condition.

Alongside a digital release, there will be limited edition color vinyl formats, plus CD and cassette. There will also be a deluxe version of the album, taking the form of a casebound book with 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-inch featuring an exclusive song from the recording sessions.

Albarn debuted a set of songs from the album as part of the Live At Worthy Farm event last month, highlights of which can be seen on BBC iPlayer. And this summer, accompanied by a band and string section, Albarn will perform two festival shows to play tracks from across his songbook, including the new album, on July 13 at Manchester International Festival and on August 24 at Edinburgh International Festival. 

2022 Tour Dates (rescheduled from 2021)

21 & 22 February – London (Barbican) 

23 & 24 February – Dublin (National Concert Hall)

26 February – Luxembourg (Philharmonie)

28 February – Brussels (Bozar)

1 March – Brussels (Bozar)

2 March – Eindhoven (Muziekgebouw)

4 & 5 March – Paris (Philharmonie)

6 March – Lyon (Auditorium)

7 March – Hamburg (ElbPhilharmonie)

9 March – Copenhagen (KB Hallen)

11 March – Reykjavik (Harpa)

Photo Credit: Linda Brownlee