David Bowie is set to release his first new album in three years, Blackstar, in January, on the iconic glam rocker’s 69th birthday, according to the Telegraph.
Bowie’s 25th studio album features its title track, set to release November 19, and will be used as the theme music to the upcoming Sky America heist series, The Last Panthers. The full single is ten minutes long, and includes Gregorian chants and electronic beats.
The album features only seven tracks, but still clocks in with a running time of 45 minutes. It is reportedly heavily influenced by the German bands Kraftwerk and Can. Blackstar was reportedly recorded at the Magic Shop in New York City, and features a heavy jazz influence as well, according to Spin.
Bowie’s last album, 2013’s The Next Day, was similarly announced on his birthday ahead of its March release. It marked the first new studio album from Bowie in a decade and ended speculation that Bowie had retired. The Next Day also marked Bowie’s most successful release of the Nielsen SoundScan era, selling almost 100,000 copies in its first week alone, proving that the appetite for new Bowie music had not waned. Indeed, the hunger for Bowie to artistically continue to stretch himself had not waned either, as The Next Day marked both a return to form for the legendary English rocker while also showcasing Bowie’s relentless pursuit of self-reinvention.
Daniel Kreps from Rolling Stone reported how The Last Panthers director Johan Renck responded to the title track that will be featured during the opening credits of his show.
“I was looking for one of the icons of my youth to write the music for the title sequence, but was presented with a God. His first response was precise, engaged and curious. The piece of music he laid before us embodied every aspect of our characters and the series itself — dark, brooding, beautiful and sentimental, in the best possible incarnation of this word. All along, the man inspired and intrigued me and as the process passed, I was overwhelmed with his generosity. I still can’t fathom what actually happened …”
Consequence of Sound calls Blackstar, set for release on January 8, Bowie’s “oddest album yet.”
Blackstar, in title, and perhaps in tone, hearkens to the recurring theme that spans across Bowie’s eclectic career of intergalactic wonder. Bowie’s industrial, electronic, and jazz influences converge to create something truly interstellar. It is this idea of something metaphysical at work that runs through the spirit of Bowie’s career, dating all the way back to the 1972 release of Bowie’s iconic and seminal album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. It was here that Bowie established his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, a bisexual alien rock superstar who uses music to shed a critical light on social issues of the time, including politics and sexual identification.
At the age of 69, Bowie is at a stage in his career when most would be satisfied to coast on previous work and sell greatest hits albums, repackaged work, and “lost” tracks. Bowie, meanwhile, continues to strive toward sublimity, utilizing every facet of his musical influence in his work. No longer concerned with regular touring, Bowie will not be touring in support of this album, save a few possible sporadic live appearances, Bowie is now keenly focused on releasing new albums every few years or so, working at his own pace to create what exists not just as an album, but truly, works of art. Very few recording artists can lay claim to this level of dedication towards artistic progression and reincarnation.
David Bowie‘s Blackstar will release January 8, 2016. If the album follows the marketing plan of The NextDay, look for a live streaming outlet, likely iTunes, to play the album on rotation in its entirety to listen for free in the days leading up to the album’s release.