Gruff Rhys – Babelsberg. Released via Rough Trade on Vinyl LP, CD.
Babelsberg is the fifth album by Gruff Rhys, his first record for Rough Trade since 2007’s classic Candylion. The album features orchestral scores by Swansea based composer Stephen McNeff and the incredible work of the 72 piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The result is Gruff’s best record to date – a ten song gazetteer of modern times, each track set to timeless, indelible melody. Amazingly, for a collection of songs written over two years ago, each one seems to pull very sharp focus on the times we’re living in.
Gruff Rhys goes on an adventure into the great unknown in his new video for “Frontier Man,” the first single and opening track off the Super Furry Animals singer’s upcoming solo album Babelsberg.
The simple concept for the video – Rhys plays a musician whose efforts to clean up a littered soda bottle take him on a desolate and scenic journey in search of a recycling bin – pair harmoniously with the singer’s always-incisive lyricism and the technicolor sound of “Frontier Man.”
“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,” Rhys said in a statement.
“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.”
Tracklisting: Gruff Rhys – Babelsberg
1. Frontier Man – Have a Listen
2. The Club
3. Oh Dear!
4. Limited Edition Heart
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