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Brian Eno And John Cale Are Both Releasing New Albums

Brian Eno and John Cale
Brian Eno and John Cale

Isn’t it a strange coincidence that Brian Eno (74) and John Cale (80) are both releasing albums a few months apart? Both artists had long and prolific careers with iconic bands from the Velvet Underground and Nico, to Roxy Music and Bowie– they even released a collaborative album “Wrong Way Up” in 1990 – and these new recordings are Eno and Cale’s first studio albums in six years.

This month, Brian Eno has released “FOREVERANDEVERMORE” on Verve/UMC, and John Cale is releasing “Mercy” in January via Double Six/Domino. While Eno is once again experimenting with ambient music made of layers of sound, swells of synth, and electronics sounding like a meditative requiem – try the haunting hymn-like “There Were Bells,” an emotional commentary on the global climate emergency with Eno’s powerful voice – Cale has released a song featuring Weyes Blood with slow trap beats drowning under massive vocals.

On his 10-track somber and austere meditation, Eno experimented using tonal over major chord changes: “My voice has changed, it’s lowered, it’s become a different personality I can sing from. I don’t want to sing like a teenager, it can be melancholic, a bit regretful. As for writing songs again—it’s more landscapes, but this time with humans in them.”

Meanwhile, Cale is raving about his collaboration with Weyes Blood: “I’d been listening to Weyes Blood’s [2016 album Front Row Seat to Earth] and remembered Natalie [Mering]’s puritanical vocals. I thought if I could get her to come and sing with me on the “Swing your soul” section, and a few other harmonies, it would be beautiful. What I got from her was something else! Once I understood the versatility in her voice, it was as if I’d written the song with her in mind all along. Her range and fearless approach to tonality were an unexpected surprise. There’s even a little passage in there where she’s a dead-ringer for Nico.”

Both artists have opted for numerous collaborations: “FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE” features contributions from Eno’s daughter Darla and niece Cecily, but also from Leo Abrahams, Roger Eno, Peter Chilvers, Clodagh Simonds, and Jon Hopkins, while the rest of John Cale’s “Mercy” features Animal Collective, Sylvan Esso, Laurel Halo, Tei Shi, Actress, and more.

Check out the two videos below: “There Were Bells,” Live at the Acropolis” directed by Tilo Krause, and “Story of Blood” featuring Weyes Blood, directed by Jethro Waters:


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