The man who fell to earth in a tin can pulled another trinket from his solar system and it will have you believing the strangest things, even loving the alien. That may sound like an old joke, but down in space it’s always 1982. David Bowie released the first song off his upcoming album with a science fiction short.
Bowie debuted ★ (Blackstar) in the form of a 10-minute video. Bowie’s 28th studio album comes out on Jan. 8, when Bowie turns 69, a mystical and magical number. Bowie dropped his 2013 single as a single and short film “Where Are We Now?” on his birthday too before his album, The Next Day.
Bowie has a tendency to drop fully actualized artistic pieces. He worked almost as often as an actor has he did as a musician and even as a musician he was often playing a part. He made groundbreaking music longform videos before MTV knew how to program them.
“Blackstar” will also be the theme song to a TV series called Last Panther. The short film★ (Blackstar) was directed by Johan Renck.
The first thing that stands out to me are those loopy drums, it’s like jazz-rock electronica played with dropped snares.
“In the villa of all men, stands a solitary candle.” The film opens on an eclipse, which casts a dark reflection on Bowie, who is at the center of it all, eyes bandaged. Major Tom junkies get their fix from a spacesuit with a jewel-encrusted skull in the helmet.
“On the day of execution, on the day of execution,” he sings.
The song is slow, dirge-like, but the dancers don’t always know that, and the drums always seem to be on the verge of taking off altogether. When Bowie’s saxophone finally knocks the beat away altogether, they veer into an atonal passage before reemerging into a beautiful bridge, with polyrhythms coming from the backing vocals of all places.
★ (Blackstar),will come out on Iso and Columbia records. It was produced by Brooklyn-born multi-instrumentalist and forever-Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti.
David Bowie will be releasing his new album. ★ (Blackstar), on his birthday, January 8, 2016. The album will include the song featured in the opening credits to the upcoming British TV show, The Last Panthers, which Bowie wrote earlier this year.
Bowie released his first single “Liza Jane” a year and half a century ago when was 17 years old and still called Davie Jones with the band the King Bees. He used a Bowie knife to sever himself from associations with the late Davy Jones of The Monkees and went on to break ground as a musician and an actor. David Bowie will also have a song in the upcoming SpongeBob Musical.
Blackstar will also air next Thursday at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn, N.Y. Here’s the teaser trailer that dropped last week: