Gruff Rhys goes on an adventure into the great unknown in his new video for “Frontier Man,” the first single and opening track off the Super Furry Animals singer’s upcoming solo album Babelsberg.
The simple concept for the video – Rhys plays a musician whose efforts to clean up a littered soda bottle take him on a desolate and scenic journey in search of a recycling bin – pair harmoniously with the singer’s always-incisive lyricism and the technicolor sound of “Frontier Man.”
“I’d made a note of the word ‘Babelsberg’ after driving past a sign when I was on tour in 2014. Cut to a few years later and the studio where I recorded the album was being knocked down just a week after I finished to make way for a ‘luxury’ apartment development,” Rhys said in a statement.
“I was looking for a name that evoked the Tower of Babel – people building towers to reach an idea of heaven (but maybe creating a kind of hell – I’m an atheist by the way!) In any case I had written Babelsberg down and when I listened to the songs together, it finally made sense why I’d done that.”
The album was recorded in three days at producer Ali Chant’s now-demolished studio in early 2016. Former Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock backs Rhys on the album’s 10 tracks, which “hibernated” for 18 months as they awaited orchestral accompaniment courtesy of composer Stephen McNeff and the 72-piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Babelsberg, Rhys’ first solo LP since his 2014 concept album American Interior, is due out June 8th on Rough Trade, which previously released the Welsh singer’s Candylion in 2007.
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Babelsberg Track List
1. “Frontier Man
2. “The Club”
3. “Oh Dear!”
4. “Limited Edition Hearts”
5. “Take That Call”
6. “Drones in the City”
7. “Negative Vibes”
8. “Same Old Song”
9. “Architecture of Amnesia”
10. “Selfies in the Sunset”