David Byrne has announced his first solo album since 2004’s Grown Backwards. The former Talking Heads front man has teamed up with Brian Eno, producer Rodaidh McDonald and Oneohtrix Point Never, to name just a few of his exciting collaborators. Unorthodoxly named American Utopia, Byrne explained “the title refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible.”
His lyrics centre around perception, and its detachment from reality. His instrumentally experimental track harkens to the United State’s history as a utopian experiment. Byrne concluded that “the experiment seems on the verge of complete and utter collapse. So naturally, we now ask ourselves — was it too much to ask? Were we wrong about how humans can be? Can we start over? Is there another way? A different way? Do we have any choice in the matter? This asking is a good sign.”
The first track to be released from the album is “Everybody’s Coming to my House,” co-written with Eno, it was conceived with inputs from Sampha, TTY and Happa Isaiah Barr. The song’s music video features visuals by Robert Edridge-Waks in an anthropomorphic optical illusion. “Music is a kind of model — it often tells us or points us toward how we can be,” proclaimed Byrne, offering a track (and perhaps an album) that is a shiny beacon of positivity as we enter 2018.