Damon Albarn has released a new song, “The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows,” the title track from his upcoming solo album out November 12th via Transgressive Records.
“The Nearer the Fountain…” is an expansive piece filled with lush orchestral elements and the steady pick of an acoustic guitar, although there’s no shortage of subtly strange synths and other textural sounds to give the tune an unsettling edge. “You were gone,” Albarn sings at the start of the song in a lonesome voice, “The dark journey that/Leaves no returning/It’s fruitless for me to mourn you/But who can help mourning?”
The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows — which takes its title from a John Clare poem, “Love and Memory” — marks Albarn’s second solo album, following 2014’s Everyday Robots. The record was originally intended to be an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, but Albarn expanded the project into a full-length album during lockdown last year.
“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,” Albarn said in a statement.
Along with a digital release, Albarn is prepping a limited edition color vinyl version of The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, as well as versions on CD and cassette. There will also be a deluxe version packaged in a casebound book with additional photography, original scanned lyrics, original artwork, a copy of the album pressed on white vinyl, and a bonus seven-inch featuring an exclusive song from the recording sessions.