Oct 14, 2021
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Linda Brownlee
Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz is releasing a new solo album, The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, on November 12 via Transgressive. Now he has shared its fifth single, the horn-backed “The Tower of Montevideo.” He’s also shared a separate video where he performs the song live with his backing band. Also, Albarn recently performed a show at London’s iconic Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and has shared a video from the show of him playing Blur’s “This Is a Low,” from the band’s 1994 album, Parklife, as well as “The Moon Exalted” from his 2012 album/opera soundtrack Dr Dee and “Royal Mountain Blue” from the new album. Check out all the videos below.
A press release describes “The Tower of Montevideo” in more detail: “Inspired by Palacio Salvo, an iconic 1920s building in Uruguay, it explores Albarn’s melancholic wonder at this part of South America, where Rio De La Plata meets the South Atlantic, a place he has described as both ‘familiar and utterly otherworldly.’”
Previously Albarn shared the album’s first single, title track “The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows.” Then he shared its second single, “Polaris,” which was one of our Songs of the Week, as well as a live video for the song. Then he shared its third single, the haunted ballad “Particles,” along with a live video for the song. “Particles” was also one of our Songs of the Week. The he shared its fourth single, “Royal Mountain Blue,” again accompanied by a live performance video.
Albarn’s last solo album was 2014’s Everyday Robots, but since then he’s been busy with a variety of projects. The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows was initially intended to be an orchestral piece inspired by the landscape of Iceland but was reworked into a solo album during the pandemic lockdown. A previous press release said the album explores “themes of fragility, loss, emergence, and rebirth” and that its title is taken from a John Clare poem Love and Memory.
Albarn also said: “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.”
Damon Albarn UK and European Tour Dates:
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)