Brian Eno has announced his first solo album in five years. It’s titled ForeverAndEverNoMore, and it’s scheduled for release on October 14 via Verve/UMC. The 10-track LP is also the first project featuring his vocals on the majority of tracks since 2005’s Another Day on Earth. Today’s announcement is accompanied by the new single ‘There Were Bells’, which you can check out below.
‘There Were Bells’ was written by Brian Eno for a 2021 performance at the Acropolis. The temperature reached 45 degrees in Athens on the day of the concert, with wildfires raging just outside the city. “I thought, here we are at the birthplace of Western civilization, probably witnessing the end of it,” Eno remarked.
Commenting on the album, he added:
Like everybody else – except, apparently, most of the governments of the world – I’ve been thinking about our narrowing, precarious future, and this music grew out of those thoughts. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I’ve been feeling about it…and the music grew out of the feelings. Those of us who share those feelings are aware that the world is changing at a super-rapid rate, and that large parts of it are disappearing forever…hence the album title.
These aren’t propaganda songs to tell you what to believe and how to act. Instead they’re my own exploration of my own feelings. The hope is that they will invite you, the listener, to share those experiences and explorations.
It took me a long time to embrace the idea that we artists are actually feelings-merchants. Feelings are subjective. Science avoids them because they’re hard to quantify and compare. But ‘feelings’ are the beginnings of thoughts, and the long term attendants of them too. Feelings are the whole body reacting, often before the conscious brain has got into gear, and often with a wide lens that encompasses more than the brain is consciously aware of.
Art is where we start to become acquainted with those feelings, where we notice them and learn from them – learn what we like and don’t like – and from there they start to turn into actionable thoughts. Children learn through play; adults play through Art. Art gives you the space to ‘have’ feelings, but it comes with an off-switch: you can shut the book or leave the gallery. Art is a safe place to experience feelings – joyous ones and difficult ones. Sometimes those feelings are about things we long for, sometimes they’re about things we might want to avoid.
I’m more and more convinced that our only hope of saving our planet is if we begin to have different feelings about it: perhaps if we became re-enchanted by the amazing improbability of life; perhaps if we suffered regret and even shame at what we’ve already lost; perhaps if we felt exhilarated by the challenges we face and what might yet become possible. Briefly, we need to fall in love again, but this time with Nature, with Civilisation and with our hopes for the future.
Brian Eno released his last album, Reflection, in 2017.
ForeverAndEverNoMore Cover Artwork:
1. Who Gives a Thought
2. We Let It In
3. Icarus or Blériot
4. Garden of Stars
6. There Were Bells
8. I’m Hardly Me
9. These Small Noises
10. Making Gardens Out of Silence