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The Guardian JULY 29, 2008 - by Sean Michaels
FRIENDS REUNITED: ENO AND BYRNE RELEASE FIRST ALBUM IN TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS
It's going to be a gospel-tinged affair, with the odd song about exploding cars thrown in.
In a reunion twenty-seven years in the making, David Byrne and Brian Eno are once again releasing an album together. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today will be self-released on August 18, via a new website. It combines lyrics by the former Talking Heads singer with electronic music by the legendary producer - their first collaboration since 1981's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.
"This record started life as a dinner conversation," Eno explained in a statement. "I was in New York, having dinner with David and some other friends, and happened to mention that I had a lot of music which I had intended to make into songs but never succeeded with."
"In his words," Byrne said, "he 'hates writing words', [so] I suggested I have a go at writing some words and tunes over a few of them, and we see what happens."
The result is an album of eleven tracks, more a collection of songs than their previous collaboration, according to the press release. Byrne's lyrics draw their inspiration from a number of places, including the Dave Eggers novel What Is The What?, but Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is particularly indebted to gospel music.
"As a foreigner in New York," Eno explained, "I was surprised by how little attention Americans paid to their own great indigenous musical invention: gospel. It was even slightly uncool - as though the endorsement of the music entailed endorsing all the religious framework associated with it. To me gospel was a music of surrender, and the surrendering rather than the worshipping was the part that interested me. This idea has informed my music ever since: I guess it's the reason I use modes and chords which are easy to follow and easy to harmonise with. I want the music to be inviting, to offer you a place inside it."
"I think David responded to this with sensitivity and skill, and his natural edginess made those familiar progressions sound new to me."
For Byrne the challenge in this "electronic gospel" style is to write songs that are "simple but not corny, basic but heartfelt. The results, in many cases, were uplifting, hopeful and positive - even though there were lyrics about cars exploding, war and similarly dark scenarios."
Our first sample of the record will come on August 4, when the song Strange Overtones will become available as a free download. Two weeks later, fans will be able to order regular and deluxe CD editions - as well as stream the entire album for free on the website.
David Byrne will also be touring this fall in support of the album, with gigs that include songs from the Everything That Happens sessions as well as My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts and even Eno-produced Talking Heads material. "The live shows will maybe try to draw a line linking this new material with what we did thirty years ago," Byrne explained. American concerts have already been announced, and worldwide dates are to follow.
"In the end we have made something that neither of us could have made ourselves," Byrne emphasised. "My writing was a response to what I sensed lay buried in the music... to sing and speak what was originally non-verbal."
The full track list for Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is as follows: Home / My Big Nurse / I Feel My Stuff / Everything That Happens / Life Is Long / The River / Strange Overtones / Wanted For Life / One Fine Day / Poor Boy / The Lighthouse