The retro-relishing synth-pop project that is Black Marble, aka Chris Stewart, is back and neck-deep in the pulsing synth throbs and flickers of yesteryear. Today he’s announced the follow up to 2019’s Bigger Than Life, this one titled Fast Idol, his second with Sacred Bones, arriving on October 22.
To celebrate the new record announcement, Black Marble has shared its first single, the urgent, life-giving, and dream-fulfilling “Somewhere”. On the surface, “Somewhere” is yet another infectious synth-pop banger we’ve come to expect from the LA-based artist. Synths blip and blister in every which way, except they eventually find harmony in resolution, just like an exploded firework after it’s reached its apex. Though dated analog waves of synthesizers remain as Black Marble’s hallmark, this track teases a direction that places drums at the forefront, which is something we haven’t really heard from Stewart since his 2012 debut album, A Different Arrangement.
Vocally, “Somewhere” continues to find Stewart singing through a thin barrier that separates two dimensions of time and space, as if he’s shouting something desperate from below toward a place higher and of more extravagant possibilities. This whimsical place of hope and possibility is explored from a bird’s eye, which Stewart details below:
“‘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.”
To accompany the track, Stewart teamed up with frequent visual collaborator Theo Sixou for a music video suited for the whimsical sonics Stewart has played out so beautifully. In the video, an older brother helps his younger brother materialize his birthday wishes of jaunting through Parisian streets without care, alongside the joyful company from many others, of course, dancing their worries away until reality sets in. This is a daydream of possibility, not of dreams unobtainable.