Steven Wilson Releases New Album “The Harmony Codex”
London-based singer-songwriter Steven Wilson released his seventh studio album “The Harmony Codex” on September 29, 2023 via Virgin Records.
It is his first album in two years since the 2021 album “The Future Bites”.
The album comprises 10-track, produced by Steven Wilson and is based on a short story he wrote with the same title “The Harmony Codex”.
He recorded the album in a studio tucked inside a garage of a North London townhouse with remote help from collaborators Ninet Tayeb, Craig Blundell, Adam Holzman, Jack Dangers, and Sam Fogarino.
Steven Wilson said of the album, “My seventh album The Harmony Codex is a real trip, a beautiful and experimental 65 minute labyrinth of a record, with almost every one of its 10 tracks taking a different musical approach. I really hope you will all get to hear the album as intended - a continuous musical journey, or a piece of 'cinema for the ears'.”
- Steven Wilson told UNDER THE RADAR MAGAZINE about the album in an interview,
“I've always seen my music in cinematic terms. But something about this record has taken that aspect, I think, to another level. Maybe it's the fact it was based on the short story. Maybe it's the fact that every song seems distinctly different to every other song, and it has its own sort of internal musical world and musical vocabulary, and yet it still seems to form a cohesive whole, a cohesive journey.”
He continued, “When I started writing this particular record, I had nothing. I had no agenda. I just sat down and started making music for the sake and for the pleasure of experimenting with sound, and experimenting with songs in the context of experimental sound. There are no records that I can point to and say, 'That was a reference point. That was a big influence.' And that's not to say that you won't hear influences. Of course you will, because they're in my DNA. But I'm not consciously influenced by anything on this record.”
Steven Wilson explained about some tracks for the album.
“Inclination”, “Beautiful Scarecrow”, “Actual Brutal Facts” via UNDER THE RADAR MAGAZIN
“So the first thing I said to him (Jack Danger from Meat Beat Manifesto) was, “Would you like to remix or something from my new album when I finish it?” And he said, “Yeah, I'd love to.” And then that kind of moved on to, “Well, actually, you know what? I've got two or three tracks in progress. Can I send them to you and see what you can come up with?” Those tracks were “Inclination,” “Beautiful Scarecrow,” and “Actual Brutal Facts.” Jack's a bit like me in the sense he's a workaholic. He's very prolific and he's very efficient. So within like a few days he sent me back loads and loads of stuff. So, you know, a lot of stuff I couldn't use, but some amazing stuff. So I went through it and he became, you know, part of the fabric of those three songs. He's also done some great remixes of “Beautiful Scarecrow” for later on as well.”
“What Life Brings”
“So the song 'What Life Brings', it's a very nostalgic song. It's one of the more traditional songs on the album. In the sense it's based around acoustic guitars, got a very warm, golden feel to it. And it's really about, as the title would suggest, it's teally about this idea that life is full of surprises and part of life is kind of embracing the things that you don't necessarily expect and making the most of them. And very often the things that you don't expect turn out to be the most special things of all in you life. And I speak, definitely from experience in that case. So that what song is about. It's a very positive song. It has, as with a lot more songs has a kind of sightly sad, nostalgic undertone too, as well.”
“Something completely different, the mostly instrumental 11 minute hybrid of progressive rock, spiritual jazz and electronica that is Impossible Tightrope. Accompanied by an astonishing animated video directed by Miles Skarin/Crystal Spotlight. Both the song and the video take you on an immersive and constantly evolving journey. Oh, and see how many times you can spot 'the object' in the video!”
“Rock Bottom” featuring Ninet Tayeb via UNDER THE RADAR MAGAZIN
“He (guitarist Niko Tsonev) is amazing. This comes back to this whole thing about how I can't really articulate exactly why and when and how, but I just knew that he was going to be the right person for The Harmony Codex. I kept sending him tracks and saying, 'Give me strange, beautiful.' I don't want something willfully atonal and unpleasant, but at the same time I want you to pick notes that are not the obvious notes. I want you to give me something beautiful, but not conventional, not obvious, not in that pentatonic blues, classic-rock style. And every time he delivered.”
Photo by Carl Glover
- source : Apple Music