Donal Dineen and Myles O’Reilly’s This Ain’t No Disco online TV show recently travelled to New York with Villagers’ Conor O’Brien with the help of St. Patrick’s Festival.

There, they met up with composer Nico Muhly and recorded a collaboration between then. The result is the beautiful new song ‘Fortunate Child’, which was released today. The accompanying video was shot by Dineen while in New York.

Get the song on your favourite streaming service.

O’Brien recently covered the Elvis song ‘The Wonder of You’ for the HBO series Big Little Lies.

Posted on April 13th, 2017

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Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister have made a collaborative album called Planetarium together that will come out on 4AD on June 9th.

Planetarium is a reimagined version of a project that first got under way some years ago and combines Sufjan’s often treated voice, McAlister’s beats, Dessner’s guitar, and Muhly’s instrumental compositions. It’s been described as “part rock odyssey, part electronic experiment, part classical opus”.

Stevens’ lyrics address “mythology, astrology, science, astronomy and the intricacies of human consciousness.”

Here’s ‘Saturn’

The album began when Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven commissioned Muhly to create a new piece and he enlisted friends Dessner, Stevens and McAlister, all of whom had been looking for the opportunity to collaborate on a larger scale.

After sketching the framework of the song cycle and performing the piece as a band – flanked by a string quartet and seven trombones – in various forms, the quartet put the project on hold for several years. Returning to the raw material in 2016, Stevens and McAlister reversed their typical process, taking recordings of the live show and adapting to the studio. “We had recorded all the arrangements and the live parts in a studio after our last performance,” says Stevens, “so years later when we all kind of settled down, we said, ‘let’s open Pandora’s box.’”

Stevens and McAlister worked to arrange Muhly’s symphonic framework and Dessner’s guitar virtuosity alongside their own lyrics and beats. Stevens became the driver behind the “song” part of the song cycle, his unique voice providing a clear and coherent center of gravity for the whole project.

In the time between Planetarium’s conception and release, Muhly wrote a new viola concerto and a commission for the Metropolitan Opera; Dessner released Trouble Will Find Me with The National, toured extensively and moved to Paris; and Stevens recorded and released Carrie & Lowell and, with McAlister, toured the album worldwide.

PLANETARIUM Tracklist

1. Neptune
2. Jupiter
3. Halley’s Comet
4. Venus
5. Uranus
6. Mars
7. Black Energy
8. Sun
9. Tides
10. Moon
11. Pluto
12. Kuiper Belt
13. Black Hole
14. Saturn
15. In the Beginning
16. Earth
17. Mercury

Posted on March 28th, 2017

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The best of recent album streams in A-Z. Plenty more in the Album Streams category.

Posted on June 16th, 2011

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