Damon Albarn has released “Polaris,” the lead single from his upcoming solo album The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, out November 12th via Transgressive Records.
The song arrived on Tuesday with an accompanying live performance video featuring Albarn on piano as he leads his band and a string quartet through the orchestral rock track.
The “Polaris” clip is the first in a series of performance videos from Albarn titled Sublime Boulevards – Performance Films. Directed by Transgressive Records founder Toby L and shot in black and white, the video series will feature selections from The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, and will be premiered in stages leading up to the album’s release date.
Albarn originally intended for his new album to be an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland. However, during the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020, he began to develop the 11 tracks further into narrative pop songs. The hybrid sound can be heard on the album’s title track, which Albarn previewed last month. The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows takes its title from the poem “Love and Memory” by John Clare and marks Albarn’s first solo LP since 2014’s Everyday Robots.
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.