Yesterday, Astralwerks formally announced that French electronica duo Air will release their new album "Pocket Symphony" in the U.S. on March 6. "Returning at times to some of the liquid funk and orchestral pop that characterized their very early recordings, the band has also added some far-Eastern flavor and some great guest vocal performances from Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy)," states the label's press release.
Air's Nicolas Godin and JB Dunckel add a new dimension to their signature blissful sound by including instruments from the Far East that Godwin learnt to play from Okinawa master. He plays "the Koto (usually referred to as a Japanese floor harp) and the Shamisen, a 3-stringed instrument which is one of Japan’s most popular classical instruments & resembles the banjo."
The press release makes special mention of Air's new album cover that was designed by contemporary artist Xavier Veilhan.
Read the full press release including tracklisting and tour information) after the jump.
From an Astralwerks/EMI press release:
Air "Pocket Symphony"
Released on 5th March 2007 (Europe), March 6th 2007 (USA)
Following their 800,000 selling third album, “Talkie Walkie” (2004), Air are set to return with their new album “Pocket Symphony” to be released on 5th March 2007.
The album, made up of 12 songs that were recorded over the last 18 months and produced by long time partner Nigel Godrich, features vocals by Dunckel and Godin themselves but also from Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy).
Air once again achieve that rare supernova of artistic vision that dares to reconcile palpable, unapologetic ambience with unpretentious soulful simplicity. They create the alternate now, an environment that begs escapism without denying humanity.
While conventional instruments continue to play a great role, Air have fashioned several tracks from the new album with the addition of Far East classical instruments which Godin learnt to play from an Okinawa master - namely the Koto (usually referred to as a Japanese floor harp) and the Shamisen, a 3-stringed instrument which is one of Japan’s most popular classical instruments & resembles the banjo. Working their way throughout the album as musical ricochets, these unearthly sounds of an alien nature add another motif to Air’s sonic architecture.
Brought by the band into the visual creative process of the album artwork is contemporary artist Xavier Veilhan. Veilhan who, like Air, is both fascinated by the possibilities afforded by modern technology, and inspired by the conventional forms of 'classical' art, revisits and ‘models’ reality using modern media (photography, 3D scanning, digital imagery).
Air will embark on a European tour from Mid March, which will be followed by shows in the US from Mid April to Mid May. They will play at major festivals both in Europe and Japan during the summer and then continue touring for the rest of 2007.
The tracklisting is as follows:
1. Space maker
2. Once upon a time
3. One Hell of a party
4. Napalm love
5. Mayfair song
6. Left bank
8. Mer du Japon
9. Lost message
10. Somewhere between waking and sleeping
11. Redhead girl
12. Night sight