On paper, Damon Albarn is about to strike out on his own with the upcoming release of his debut solo LP, Everyday Robots. But as the Blur and Gorillaz frontman recently told Rolling Stone, the album is still something of a collaboration, thanks the efforts of producer (and XL Recordings head) Richard Russell.
Now you can take a listen to the fruits of the duo’s labor with the album’s title track, a sparse track that somehow seems calming despite the eerie, high-pitched synth line that anchors Albarn’s matter-of-fact musings on technology’s effect on contemporary life. “Everyday Robots” also comes with a fitting animated clip in which a digitally rendered skull is tweaked and molded until it becomes Albarn himself.
While Albarn says Everday Robots is “my narrative, and my voice and my songs,” he credits Russell with giving the record the right atmosphere and percussive elements, and helping him edit down the massive track list. “Making a solo record can be such a disaster, so I thought if we’re going to make a record with my name on it, I should get someone to really produce it – take that responsibility away from myself,” Albarn told Rolling Stone last year. “Richard does the kind of rhythmic side of it and I do everything else.”
Out April 29th, Everday Robots also features contributions from Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes on “Selfish Giant” and Brian Eno on the album closer “Heavy Seas of Love.”
“He’s a neighbor,” Albarn said of Eno. “I used to go to a health club that he goes to as well, but he always did much more interesting things than I did. I’d be on a mind-numbing running machine, and he took water aerobics classes. He was very Eno about it.”