Pink Floyd’s new album The Endless River is coming out in one week, but those who can’t wait can listen to the newly released track “Allons-y (1)” right here. Like nearly every song on the album, it’s an instrumental piece, with a bit of a “Run Like Hell” vibe at the beginning before getting more ethereal.
The Endless River began in 1993 when David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright came together to write songs for The Division Bell. They spent days crafting ambient, instrumental pieces for a planned second disc of the album, but they were all put in the vault when they decided to scale back their plans and release one disc. “The tapes were in every format you could imagine from the history of recorded music,” says Phil Manzanera, the albums’s co-producer. “It was everything from quarter-inch to DAT to half-inch to 24-track.”
The group ultimately stripped down nearly everything from the music but Richard Wright’s keyboard, and then overdubbed new drum and guitar tracks. “It’s a strange tapestry,” says Manzanera. “It has certain things that were fixed — some of them that were improvised to start with — but on top of that you have further improvisation that was honed down into parts. It was an interesting series of processes, but it doesn’t sound like it was constructed in a sort of obvious way. In a strange way, it sounds free.”
Gilmour has been pretty clear that The Endless River will be Pink Floyd’s final album. “It’s a nice way to end it,” says Manzanera. “So many bands just teeter out, and I won’t get into Roxy Music here. It’s nice to tell yourself that something is done and you won’t be around forever.”