Brian Eno has unmoored the epic 21-minute title track off his upcoming new LP The Ship. The Titanic-inspired work drifts along an ambient sea of quivering synths before Eno’s disembodied vocals – the first time he’s sung on one of his solo albums 2005’s Another Day on Earth – emerge to hauntingly sing about the infamous voyage.
“A slave to hopes of destiny / Illusion of control,” Eno intones. “The Ship” also sets a course across the many guises of the electronic music genre Eno helped pioneer, as well as explores avant-garde, drone and musique concrete elements along its 21 minutes. The Ship, which is available to preorder now through Eno’s official site, arrives April 29th via Warp.
In a statement, Eno said of “The Ship,” “The piece started as an Ambient work intended for a multichannel sound installation in Stockholm, but during the making of it I discovered that I could now sing a low C – which happens to be the root note of the piece. Getting older does have a few fringe benefits after all. From that point the work turned into an unusual kind of song … a type I’ve never made before where the vocal floats free, untethered to a rhythmic grid of any kind.”
In addition to the title track, The Ship also features the three-tiered suite “Fickle Sun,” with the third part of the side-length song featuring Eno’s cover of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free,” a Lou Reed-penned classic that Eno says “seems even more relevant now than it did then.”
“On a musical level, I wanted to make a record of songs that didn’t rely on the normal underpinnings of rhythmic structure and chord progressions but which allowed voices to exist in their own space and time, like events in a landscape,” Eno said of his upcoming album. “I wanted to place sonic events in a free, open space.”