Watch Damon Albarn's Performance of 'Royal Morning Blue' on 'Kimmel' - Rolling Stone
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Watch Damon Albarn’s Cinematic Performance of ‘Royal Morning Blue’ on ‘Kimmel’

The song and the performance were inspired by the landscapes of Iceland

Damon Albarn appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to showcase his recent song, “Royal Morning Blue.” Performing at a grand piano, the blur frontman is accompanied by a string section and a cinematic video backdrop featuring scenes of Iceland.

“Royal Morning Blue,” off Albarn’s solo album The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, was inspired by the the Icelandic views from the piano where he wrote the LP.

“That’s why the song opens with ‘Rain turning into snow,’ because it’s that moment, that feeling,” Albarn said of the song in a statement last year. “In all the darkness that we have experienced, that was such a beautiful, positive thing.”

Originally planned as an orchestral work about the landscapes of Iceland, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows transformed into an 11-song album during Albarn’s time spent in lockdown in Iceland during the pandemic. The album, which was also recorded in Iceland, marks Albarn’s first solo LP since 2014’s Everyday Robots, arrived in November via Transgressive Records.

Albarn performed the track — as well as singles “Polaris” and “Particles” — during the Glastonbury livestream this summer. He also shared a live version of the song last September.

The musician’s other project, Gorillaz, celebrated the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut with a massive box set in December. In addition to the original debut, the eight-LP box set features demos, an unreleased live set from the Forum, and the remix LP Laika Comes Home, on vinyl for the first time. Gorillaz released their latest LP, Song Machine: Season One — Strange Timez, in 2020.

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