VINCE CLARKE – DEBUT SOLO ALBUM
IVOR NOVELLO WINNING SONGWRITER’S ALBUM OF AMBIENT BEAUTY
SONGS OF SILENCE – OUT 17 NOV ON MUTE
DEBUT LIVE PERFORMANCE AT LSE, LONDON – 17 NOV
ROUGH TRADE EAST Q&A, LONDON – 19 NOV
WATCH ANIMATION FOR NEW TRACK, WHITE RABBIT
VINCE CLARKE has shared ‘White Rabbit’, the latest track to be released from his forthcoming debut solo album, Songs of Silence, a 10-track lyric-less album of uncategorisable ambient beauty. The album will be available on vinyl, CD and digitally via Mute on 17 November 2023.
‘White Rabbit’, with its relentless sequencer pattern, crashing ignitions, and gradual acceleration culminating in tribal drums, comes accompanied by a striking animation by Daniele Arcuri looking at the darkness surrounding our relationship with technology.
Watch the video here:
Daniele Arcuri explains, “I wanted to openly address the themes of hyper-connectivity, anxiety, apathy, and voyeurism towards others’ suffering. This video is a bold and thought-provoking reflection on how technology is eerily shaping our existence, and challenges viewers to contemplate the human cost of an ever-connected world.”
Vince Clarke, the Ivor Novello winning songwriter behind countless chart-topping pop songs as co-founder of Erasure, Yazoo and Depeche Mode, has – unbelievably – waited until now to embark on a solo release.
Recorded in his home studio in New York, and featuring photography and artwork by the award-winning Magnum photojournalist Eugene Richards, work on the album began as a distraction during lockdown, a chance to finally get his head around the possibilities of Eurorack, a modular synthesiser format famed for its addictive and limitless configurations. “I could have gone on forever, I could have not stopped,” explains Vince, “I was enjoying the process so much and wasn’t thinking about anyone else hearing it. But hearing it develop in my studio, in my head, learning new tricks – that’s been the best thing about this. I was in a state of shock, actually, when Mute said they wanted to release this album.”
Alone in the studio, Clarke set himself two rules: first, that the sounds he generated for the album would come solely from Eurorack, and second, that each track would be based around one note, maintaining a single key throughout. “Nobody in my household is particularly interested in what I get up to in the studio” says Vince. “Even the cat used to leave after an hour or so of listening to drones.”
The resultant album’s mood of synth-generated, cosmic remoteness is interrupted by stark interventions, reminders of the human hand at work amid this machinery – a scrambled sample like a distressed transmission from a fighter pilot, the wordless operatic contributions of Caroline Joy, the sawing brimstone of composer Reed Hays’ cello on ‘The Lamentations of Jeremiah’, and ‘Blackleg’, the album’s centrepiece which builds around the 1844 anti-scab folk song ‘Blackleg Miner’, which glows with resonance and relevance. Elsewhere on the album Clarke manifests relentless sequencer patterns, gradual accelerations, Moog-style drones, glistening droplets of synth, and burgeoning swells of processed guitars, with Clarke describing the tracks as “having a sense of sadness, of things going bad, things crumbling”.
Not content to rest on his considerable pop legacy, Vince Clarke has instead opened up exciting new electronic vistas for himself, and for the rest of us, in which the permutations and possibilities are limitless, Clarke declaring “The infinite shades of sounds you can create with just the tiniest tweak of a knob or slider continues to fascinate me.”
Pre-order Songs of Silence: https://mute.ffm.to/vinceclarke_sos
SONGS OF SILENCE TRACKLISTING