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Brian Eno has released a new single, There Were Bells, and announced an upcoming studio album.
The 74-year-old British musician and composer gained recognition for his unconventional approaches to contemporary music and his popularisation of the ambient music genre.
Eno’s new album, ForeverAndEverNoMore, is set for release in October and will see him sing vocals on the majority of tracks on an album for the first time since his 2005 release Another Day On Earth.
Throughout his career, which has spanned more than half a century, Eno has released more than 20 studio albums and worked with stars such as David Bowie and bands including Coldplay and U2.
Accompanying the announcement of his new 10-track album, Eno has released There Were Bells, a song written by Eno and first performed live by him and his brother Roger as part of the Epidaurus Festival in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus at the Acropolis of Athens in 2021.
At the time of the performance it was 45C in Athens and there were summer wildfires burning in suburbs outside the city, which prompted Eno to introduce the song by saying: “I thought, here we are at the birthplace of western civilisation, probably witnessing the end of it.”
Eno has revealed that the theme of ForeverAndEverNoMore is the environment, and the current climate emergency is explored throughout the album.
Explaining the thought process behind the upcoming album, he said: “Like everybody else – except, apparently, most of the governments of the world – I’ve been thinking about our narrowing, precarious future, and this music grew out of those thoughts. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I’ve been feeling about it… and the music grew out of the feelings. Those of us who share those feelings are aware that the world is changing at a super-rapid rate, and that large parts of it are disappearing forever… hence the album title.
“These aren’t propaganda songs to tell you what to believe and how to act. Instead they’re my own exploration of my own feelings. The hope is that they will invite you, the listener, to share those experiences and explorations.
“It took me a long time to embrace the idea that we artists are actually feelings-merchants. Feelings are subjective. Science avoids them because they’re hard to quantify and compare. But feelings are the beginnings of thoughts, and the long-term attendants of them too. Feelings are the whole body reacting, often before the conscious brain has got into gear, and often with a wide lens that encompasses more than the brain is consciously aware of.
“Art is where we start to become acquainted with those feelings, where we notice them and learn from them – learn what we like and don’t like – and from there they start to turn into actionable thoughts. Children learn through play; adults play through art. Art gives you the space to ‘have’ feelings, but it comes with an off-switch: you can shut the book or leave the gallery. Art is a safe place to experience feelings – joyous ones and difficult ones. Sometimes those feelings are about things we long for, sometimes they’re about things we might want to avoid.
“I’m more and more convinced that our only hope of saving our planet is if we begin to have different feelings about it: perhaps if we became re-enchanted by the amazing improbability of life; perhaps if we suffered regret and even shame at what we’ve already lost; perhaps if we felt exhilarated by the challenges we face and what might yet become possible. Briefly, we need to fall in love again, but this time with nature, with civilisation and with our hopes for the future.”
A number of tracks on the album also feature additional vocals from Eno’s family members, including his daughter Darla and brother Roger.
ForeverAndEverNoMore will be released on October 14.