One Fine Album – Latest David Byrne Brian Eno Collaboration

Album Cover Art
Album Cover Art

I don’t often write directly about music in this space. I love it almost as much as the cinema, but you can’t write about everything intelligently, so I leave it to others. However, there are always exceptions, and this one hones in on the latest release from Brian Eno and David Byrne called Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. I was immediately drawn in by the title. It sparked a concept in my mind as follows; all things that have ever been and will ever be, throughout time without beginning or end, are compressed into the microcosm of a single moment. Therefore everyone has access to everything all the time and every day. It could explain a lot.

My history with David Byrne stretches back to Talking Heads 77, the groundbreaking first album from that band. I have followed the Heads and then Byrne in his solo career as musician, artist, filmmaker and author. He is truly a renaissance man in every sense of the word.

Brian Eno has been another favorite. As a producer alone he has had an impressive career, but I can always count on his ambient music to calm any agitation I may have swirling around in my mind. Music for Airports and Music for Films in particular. When I want more electronic I switch to Nerve Net. Convergences such as this are rare, that is to say the two artists’ strengths combine seamlessly. This new release doesn’t disappoint.

The liner notes tell the story of Eno and Byrne having dinner one night a couple of years ago and Eno was thinking out loud about what he was going to do with all those instrumentals he has collected over the years. Byrne offered to listen and write lyrics. An artistic partnership was rekindled after almost 30 years. Mr. Byrne sums up his part in this quote from the album.

These songs have elements of our previous work—no surprise there—but somethign new has emerged here as well. Where does the sanguine and heartening tone come from, particularly in these troubled times? …Some of my lyrics and melodies were a resonse to what I sensed lay buried in the music. My task was to bring forth into language what was originally non-verbal. In the end, we have made something together that neither of us could have made on our own.

Photo from Everything That Happens Web Site
Photo from Everything That Happens Web Site

My favorite cuts are I Feel Stuff, Everything that Happens, Strange Overtones and One Fine Day. The music challenges the ear and is performed with some interesting instruments; kaoss pad, steinberg virtual guitar, inhuman piano and a stylophone. The lyrics are an arrangement of words that sound familiar, but could easily belong to another language. The cover art is weaved throughout the experience, sonically as well as visually, a nice surprise. You can download a free track at everythingthathappens.com.

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