Gruff Rhys is releasing his new album “Seeking New Gods” through Rough Trade Records on 21.5.2021. This will be Gruff’s seventh solo album. “Seeking New Gods” was recorded following a US tour with his band and mixed in LA with superstar producer Mario C (Beastie Boys).
The typically beautiful art direction is by long-time collaborator Mark James and the record will feature a Mountain Die Cut envelope-style sleeve, numbered Belly band, 2 colour Splatter Vinyl, Flexi Disc and a 10” signed print. The standard LP edition is equally appetizing, featuring the same Mountain Die Cut envelope-style sleeve, Belly band, and dark green vinyl. The CD will be housed within a digipack.
The album concept was originally driven to be the biography of a mountain, Mount Paektu (an East Asian active volcano). However, as Gruff’s writing began to reflect on the inhuman timescale of a peak’s existence and the intimate features that bring it to mythological life, both the songs and the mountain became more and more personal.
Gruff on the album “The album is about people and the civilizations, and the spaces people inhabit over periods of time. How people come and go but the geology sticks around and changes more slowly. I think it’s about memory and time,” he suggests of Seeking New Gods’ meaning. “It’s still a biography of a mountain, but now it’s a Mount Paektu of the mind. You won’t learn much about the real mountain from listening to this record but you will feel something, hopefully.”- Gruff Rhys
Gruff on the video “The monochrome has made it look much sharper and stylish (for want of a better word – I don’t think I know what style is!!) like a Japanese 60’s pop show or something!
We added a layer of cloud to add some spot colour and to integrate the album sleeve aesthetic to the video. The colour was always stronger at the very end – I don’t particularly like the brown slippery dinosaurs but love the mammoths and northern lights…. so we bought it back to colour by the end – the narrative being that a soloing guitarist accidentally invented colour TV with sheer exuberance!”
Part of Gruff’s creative remit has always been about pushing the boundaries of how music presented and performed, starting with the quadrophonic sound system tours as part of Super Furry Animals. For this record, Gruff has partnered with the BBC’s R&D department to make use of their Audio Orchestrator technology to create an at-home, multi-device immersive listening experience for fans. It will be the first time the BBC has offered this technology for use with an album. Full details including fan listening events will be announced soon.