Black Marble (aka Chris Stewart) has announced his new album titled Fast Idol, which is due out October 22 via Sacred Bones Records. He’s also sharing the first single and video for Somewhere, alongside the announcement of UK/US tour dates this October and November.
On the track itself, Chris Stewart shares: “‘Somewhere’ describes a place just out of reach that serves as a diversion and takes focus away from the ambiguities of daily life. It represents a place of disinhibition where if it could only be remembered, or found, the people we aim to be could for a moment be fully realized. Although its dreamlike clarity and feeling of connection may seem like an empty promise, it serves as an aspirational reminder for what might be.”
The song is accompanied by wondrous visuals of the towers of the Parisian suburbs, as shown in the video directed by Theo Sixou. This is the third video Sixou has worked on with Stewart.
“I love that Theo always seems to return to the themes of searching and wishing in his work. I think that the idea of an artist, or anyone really, as a fully formed entity interacting with the world is rather strange. I’ve always appreciated how Theo imbues these little worlds he creates with feelings of desire for this sort of transcendence, and I always trust that I’ll relate to the way he sees things.” -Chris Stewart
On Fast Idol, LA-based Black Marble reaches back through time to connect with the forgotten bedroom kids of the analogue era, the halcyon days of icy hooks and warbly synths always on the edge of going out of tune. At the same time, percussive elements feel forward and cut through the mix with toms counting off the measures like a lost tribe broadcasting through the bass and tops of a basement club sound system.
This is Stewart’s fourth full-length album. His previous album Bigger than Life was written in the face of cultural shifts in the US, and at a time when he realised he was not keyed into certain negative sentiments that were bubbling below the surface. “I chose to try and take the approach of a soothsayer writing from a macro level, trying to find strands of connection between us because it didn’t feel appropriate to create something self-referential and gloomy at the time,” he says.
Fast Idol sees him return to a sentiment and process that defined the earlier days of Black Marble, in a return to his intuitive song writing process where songs land as impressionistic snippets of daily conflicts, and people struggle with the challenge of trying to move through the world. Melodies roll with the fizz and charm of Jacno and phrases repeated are electric torchlight ballads sung after hours in William Gibson’s San Francisco.
Stewart writes and plays everything himself, and tours with a rotating cast of players. Emerging from the early 2000s New York synth scene, Black Marble carried on the tradition of early synthwave pioneers who repurposed synths once reserved for expensive studios and stadium rock superstars. Available widely and cheaply for the first time, these synths became a staple for bedroom artists. “When I started making songs I got enough positive feedback just to keep me going,” Stewart says, “and then I never stopped.” Black Marble was signed with just one song available online, and Stewart has been writing songs and making music ever since.
Fast Idol sees Black Marble face the rising tide of uncertainty, leaving our future selves to trace its signal as its frequencies echo into an interstellar expanse, looking for a receiver. He says: “I want my music to stick with you after I leave, even though you might not feel like you’re any closer to knowing it”.
Pre-order Fast Idol HERE: https://geni.us/BlackMarbleFastIdol
Black Marble UK Tour Dates:
23/10 – Bournemouth, UK – Anvil
24/10 – Cardiff, UK – Club Ifor Bach
25/10 – Milton Keynes, UK – Craufurd Arms
26/10 – Hull, UK – The Adelphi
27/10 – Edinburgh, UK – Mash House
28/10 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
29/10 – Dundee, UK – Hunter S Thompson
31/10 – Newcastle, UK – Anarchy Brewing Company
01/11 – Chester, UK – Live Rooms
02/11- Oxford, UK – O2 Academy
03/11 – St. Albans, UK – The Horn
05/11 – Bath, UK – Moles
06/11 – London, UK – Moth Club
07/11- Hebden Bridge, UK – Trades Club
08/11- Blackpool, UK – Bootleg Social
09/11- Liverpool, UK – EBGB’s
12/11 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
14/11 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
13/11- Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
16/11 – Denver, CO – HQ.
18/11 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
19/11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater