Synth-pop artist Chris Stewart has announced his latest album as Black Marble, Fast Idol, coming Oct. 22 on Sacred Bones Records ahead of the artist’s fall U.K. and U.S. tour dates. Lead single and album opener “Somewhere” is out now alongside a video that will make you glad to be alive.
“Somewhere” opens with a big, blustery drum track, cranking up the positive energy right out of the gate. Stewart’s hooky synth-pop typically has a dark-wave haze to it, but this song is punchy and bright from the beginning, with multi-layered synths each gleaming in their own distinct shades as the singer conjures images of a faraway oasis, where all life’s struggles are little more than distant memories. “Well I heard this all somewhere, but I don’t recall / Everybody’s running around to get over on them all,” Stewart sings, his vocal overdubs later creating a cascade of pure melody as his keys .
Stewart explains the concept behind his new song in a statement:
“Somewhere” describes a place just out of reach that serves as a diversion and takes focus away from the ambiguities of daily life. It represents a place of disinhibition where if it could only be remembered, or found, the people we aim to be could for a moment be fully realized. Although its dreamlike clarity and feeling of connection may seem like an empty promise, it serves as an aspirational reminder for what might be.
The “Somewhere” video, directed by Theo Sixou, is just as lovely and uplifting as the song itself: Starring French breakdancing brothers Adam and Zakaria BB BOY, the clip mainly follows the younger brother, Adam, as he makes a birthday wish, then meets a group of dancers on the Paris Metro, who welcome him into their crew and generally show him a fantastic time. The video ends on Adam back where he began, sprawling on his back in the grass outside a Parisian suburb tower, begging the question: Did the birthday boy really get his wish, or was it all a dream?
Of the “Somewhere” video, Stewart says:
I was so happy to work with director Theo Six for our third video together. Brought to life in the shadows of the towers of the Parisian suburbs, I love that Theo always seems to return to the themes of searching and wishing in his work. I think that the idea of an artist, or anyone really, as a fully formed entity interacting with the world is rather strange. Although there can be pressure to come across this way, I think it’s more interesting and realistic to admit to the idea that most of us struggle to live up to some idealized projection of who we want to be. In this way, I’ve always appreciated how Theo imbues these little worlds he creates with feelings of desire for this sort of transcendence, and I always trust that I’ll relate to the way he sees things.
Black Marble’s fourth album and second on Sacred Bones, Fast Idol follows Stewart’s 2020 cover of Mariah Carey’s holiday classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and covers EP I Must Be Living Twice. His last album was 2019’s acclaimed Bigger Than Life.
Stewart’s fall U.K. and U.S. tour dates are set for this October and November, starting just after the release of Fast Idol, and include San Francisco and Los Angeles shows rescheduled from last year.
Watch the “Somewhere” video below, and find Black Marble’s 2017 Daytrotter session, the details of Fast Idol and the artist’s tour dates further down. You can preorder his album here.
Fast Idol Tracklist:
03. Royal Walls
05. The Garden
06. Say It First
09. Ship to Shore
11. Brighter and Bigger
Fast Idol Album Art:
Black Marble Tour Dates:
23 – Bournemouth, ENG @ Anvil
24 – Cardiff, WAL @ Club Ifor Bach
25 – Milton Keynes, ENG @ Craufurd Arms
26 – Hull, ENG @ The Adelphi
27 – Edinburgh, SCT @ Mash House
28- Glasgow, SCT @ Stereo
29- Dundee, SCT @ Hunter S Thompson
31 – Newcastle, ENG @ Anarchy Brewing Company
01 – Chester, ENG @ Live Rooms
02 – Oxford, ENG @ O2 Academy
03 – St. Albans, ENG @ The Horn
05 – Bath, ENG @ Moles
06 – London, ENG @ Moth Club
07 – Hebden Bridge, ENG @ Trades Club
08 – Blackpool, ENG @ Bootleg Social
09 – Liverpool, ENG @ EBGB’s
12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
16 – Denver, CO @ HQ
18 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater