Nils Frahm reminiscences through the restrained beauty of “Late”, prepares new album

Any new release from Nils Frahm is cause for celebration, but his latest promises a uniquely expansive approach, even for the celebrated composer and producer.

Stuck during quarantine, he found himself sifting through his considerable backlog of unreleased material, gravitating towards piano ballads, recorded across the years, stretching all the way from 2009 to 2021. More than a simple archival release, Frahm realized his favorite rediscovered tracks formed a cohesive, natural whole.

He explains, “I forgot that some tracks are ten years old, some two, and they’re all played on different pianos. Instead, I remembered how, as a fan, I love albums like this. With a lot of my records, there’s a point where you feel, ‘This is the centerpiece,’ but here I wasn’t really worrying about that. It still feels like my universe, though, and I’m proud that all these things which I never found a way to unite before now work together. It’s like I tossed flowers indiscriminately into a vase and then realised it looked exactly right.

For his latest selection from the aptly titled Old Friends New Friends, he’s shared “Late”, a serene, nocturnal piece of quiet, patient beauty. Speaking on the song, he shares, “‘Late’ was obviously recorded very late. When I used to record the piano in my tiny apartment studio in Berlin, which was called Durton studio, I had to play very quietly because I was surrounded by sleeping neighbors. In this track, you can feel this late-night dynamic in an apartment building in Berlin, where you cannot disturb your surroundings… And yeah, it turned into a lullaby that way. I hope you enjoy it.

Lay back and listen to it below, and look out for Old Friends New Friends quite soon, come December 3rd, via Leiter.