Damon Albarn's debut LP with Rocket Juice and the Moon won't be out for another few weeks, but the insanely busy Britpop icon has already announced his next release: an album containing studio versions of the songs from his opera, Dr. Dee. It will be out May 8 via Virgin Records.
In a press release, the songwriter described the album as "strange pastoral folk." What does this mean? Well, the record reportedly "combines Albarn's voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds."
The 18 songs were recorded with help from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Sessions took place at the Blur/Gorillaz mastermind's own studio in London and in Salford, and the album was mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson. Watch a trailer for the record at the bottom of the page.
If you remember, Dr. Dee was Albarn's opera about Elizabethan alchemist/magician John Dee. He originally planned to do the project with graphic novelist Alan Moore, who eventually dropped out of the project and left Albarn to finish it himself.
As for the opera itself, it was co-commissioned by the London 2012 Festival, so it will naturally be performed at the city's Cultural Olympiad celebrations this summer. See the dates here.
1. The Golden Dawn
2. Apple Carts
3. Oh Spirit Animate Us
4. The Moon Exalted
5. A Man of England
8. The Marvelous Dream
9. A Prayer
10. Edward Kelley
12. 9 point Star
13. Temptation Comes in the Afternoon
14. Watching the Fire That Waltzed Away
15. Moon (Interlude)
17. Tree of Life
18. The Dancing King