American Utopia

David Byrne

American Utopia
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American Utopia

David Byrne

David Byrne announced his forthcoming solo record, American Utopia, during a presentation of “Reasons To Be Cheerful,” an ongoing series curated by Byrne of hopeful writings, photos, music, and lectures. The presentation was given at New York’s New School to a live audience, as well as live-streamed via his Facebook page.


American Utopia will be released on Todomundo/Nonesuch Records, accompanied by a world tour that will bring a choreographed concert that Byrne has called ‘the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense.’ The album track “Everybody’s Coming To My House”- co-written with Brian Eno, featuring contributions from TTY, Happa Isaiah Barr (Onyx Collective), Mercury Award winner Sampha, and others-also was released and the visual companion piece can be seen below.

American Utopia
fits hand-in-hand with Byrne’s vision for his series “Reasons To Be Cheerful,” named for the song by the late Ian Dury. Over the last year, Byrne has been collecting stories, news, ideas, and other items that all either embody or identify examples of things that inspire optimism, such as a tech breakthrough, a musical act, a new idea in urban planning or transportation-something seen, heard, or tasted. Just as the album questions the current state of society while offering solace through song, the content of the series recognises the darkness and complexity of today while showcasing alternatives to the despair that threatens us. A “Reasons To Be Cheerful” hub, where Byrne shares these items, can be accessed here.

While David Byrne has collaborated on joint releases with Eno, Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), and most recently St. Vincent over the past decade, American Utopia is Byrne’s first solo album since 2004’s Grown Backwards, also on Nonesuch. American Utopia morphed during the writing and recording process, beginning with longtime collaborator Eno, and eventually growing to include collaboration with producer Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, King Krule, Sampha, Savages) alongside a diverse cast of creative contributors including Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never), Jam City, Thomas Bartlett (St. Vincent producer, aka Doveman), Jack Peñate, and others. The album was recorded in New York City at David’s home studio, Reservoir Studios, Oscilloscope, XL Studios, and Crowdspacer Studio and in London at Livingston Studio 1.

 

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