New Damon Albarn Single ‘Royal Morning Blue’ is a Beautiful Snapshot

It’s been a difficult nineteen months (at least we think it’s been nineteen months – it all went a bit hazy around the time of the last surge). And music has been one of the few bright spots, helpfully assisting us in either dancing away a bit of the worry, or on some days even giving us the fortitude to face down the effects of the COVID crisis with a sense of hope and determination.

Damon Albarn has never failed us in the latter, his songs consistently guiding us through the stormy seas of this precarious existence. And in between a gazillion other side projects, he’s just managed to record what promises to be another piercingly insightful solo album, this one thought-provokingly titled The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows (which would make a great fortune cookie, obviously). It’s due out November 12th via Transgressive.

The title track arrived this past June, allowing us a peek into the deeply contemplative nature of the new material. And newest single ‘Royal Morning Blue’ is yet another intimate, instantly captivating snapshot of a very Damon moment-in-time, with a musical vibe that’s kind of Paul Weller meets Burt Bachrach, and evocative, profoundly transportive lyrics.

“Rain turning into snow
You put on your robes and disappear
Into new realities
Thought and memory
Stay by your side


Royal, royal morning blue
You are saved
And nothing like this had ever happened before”

The words reference an occasion of Damon sat at the piano during the recording in Iceland (his sort of spiritual second home), and watching as the precipitation just outside begins its weather-induced physical transformation.

“That’s why the song opens with ‘Rain turning into snow,’” he explains, “because it’s that moment, that feeling. In all the darkness that we have experienced, that was such a beautiful, positive thing.”

Of course, with more than 4.5 million worldwide deaths from COVID since it hijacked our collective narrative last spring, the beautiful and the positive have decisively eluded us. But if Damon has taught us anything over these last three decades, it’s that just when we need it most, art tends to come along and (sort of) save the day.

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