Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) Announces New Album With 72-Piece Orchestra, Shares “Frontier Man”

Babelsberg Due Out June 8 via Rough Trade

Apr 10, 2018 Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Gruff Rhys, Welsh frontman of Britpop outliers and survivors Super Furry Animals, has announced a new solo album, Babelsberg, and shared a video for its first single, "Frontier Man." The album was recorded with the 72-piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales and is due out June 8 via Rough Trade. Ryan Owen Eddleston directed the "Frontier Man" video, which is a humorous environmental statement as Rhys goes on a quest to dispose of a plastic bottle he sees another man litter. Watch it below, followed by the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as Rhys' tour dates.

Babelsberg's songs were originally recorded in a quick three-day session in 2016 at producer Ali Chant's studio just before it was demolished and featured drummer Kliph Scurlock (ex-Flaming Lips), along with multi-instrumentalists Stephen Black (aka Sweet Baboo) and Osian Gwynedd. Then 18 months later Swansea based composer Stephen McNeff finished orchestral scores for the songs and the album was completed with the 72-piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales. 

Rhys had this to say about the album in a press release: "I'd made a note of the word 'Babelsberg' after driving past a sign when I was on tour in 2014. Cut to a few years later and the studio where I recorded the album was being knocked down just a week after I finished to make way for a 'luxury' apartment development. I was looking for a name that evoked the Tower of Babel - people building towers to reach an idea of heaven (but maybe creating a kind of hell - I'm an atheist by the way!) In any case I had written Babelsberg down and when I listened to the songs together, it finally made sense why I'd done that."

Rhys had this to say about the video in its YouTube description: "Ah! Greetings my friends, welcome to my new music video shot especially for the song 'Frontier Man,' in Cardiff, Wales and the Cardiff of the imagination. Watch me as I go in search of a bin through the deepest recesses, and frozen tundra of my mind. Discarded plastics will destroy the earth and may well have destroyed this video clip but rest assured, as predictable as it may be - it was all just a daydream."

Rhys' last solo album was 2014's American Interior (which was also a documentary film, a book, and an app).

Read our 2015 interview with Gruff Rhys about American Interior.

Babelsberg Tracklist:

1. Frontier Man
2. The Club
3. Oh Dear!
4. Limited Edition Hearts
5. Take That Call
6. Drones in the City
7. Negative Vibes
8. Same Old Song
9. Architecture of Amnesia
10. Selfies in the Sunset 

Gruff Rhys Tour Dates:

June 10th - Millennium Centre, Cardiff (with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales)
September 12th - Barbican, London (with the London Contemporary Orchestra)
September 16th - RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester (with the RNCM Orchestra) 

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