Damon Albarn and his mullet are back with another preview of his upcoming solo LP The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows, this time with the single ‘Royal Morning Blue’.
With previous singles ‘Polaris’ and ‘Particles’, Albarn had given the impression that the album would be a fully mediative and slow-burning affair. ‘Royal Morning Blue’, however, suggests otherwise. The first uptempo and explicitly pop-adjacent track to come out, Albarn wrangles hooky earworms out of his exploratory and experimental melodies.
Whereas the other songs had sounded as if they had been cut from the same cloth as Albarn’s first solo LP, Everyday Robots, ‘Royal Morning Blue’ feels a bit closer to late-period Blur or The Fall-era Gorillaz. There’s still a perceptible melancholy to it all, but ‘Royal Mountain Blue’ is a far less languid affair.
Albarn is, of course, a busy guy. While keeping an eye on his solo work, Albarn is also revealing new details about what’s to come with future Gorillaz music. Namely, the singer-songwriter has already recorded a collaboration with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, the resulting song of which is set to be the lead single for the next Gorillaz project.
Just as well, Albarn performed a one-off concert on September 20 at The Globe in London where tracks from The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows, including ‘Royal Morning Blue’, were previewed. Also played at that show were cuts from Gorillaz (‘On Melancholy Hill’, ‘El Mañana’), Blur (‘This Is A Low’, ‘Out of Time’), and quite a few cuts from Albarn’s now-defunct supergroup The Good, the Bad & the Queen (‘The Great Fire’, ‘Lady Boston’, and ‘Nature Springs’, just to name three of the six tunes from that group to be played). Albarn also shared a cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Saturday Come Slower’ and paid tribute to The Good, the Bad & the Queen’s late drummer Tony Allen by performing his song ‘Go Back’.
Check out the audio for ‘Royal Morning Blue’ down below. The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows is set to be released on November 12.