Annie Lennox has consistently surprised listeners with twists and turns in her storied music career, and her latest release is no exception. Lepidoptera, which was surprise-released on Friday (May 24), is a four-song piano instrumental EP, performed by Lennox alone.
The project — which clocks in at 34 minutes — is being released in conjunction with Lennox’s new art exhibition “Now I Let You Go…” The installation premieres at MASS MoCA (Massachusetts, North Adams Museum of Contemporary Art) on Saturday. In a tweet (see below), Lennox refers to the music on the EP as a “small ambient greetings postcard.”
The music on Lepidoptera serves as background music to the installation, which comprises “hundreds of artifacts culled from her personal collection of memorabilia, found objects, and personal effects amassed throughout her lifetime,” according to the MASS MoCA website.
The self-released Lepidoptera project is Lennox’s first independently distributed album and it follows Lennox’s last release, the 2014 standards set Nostalgia. That album, issued via Blue Note Records, topped Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart and earned a Grammy nomination.
In a press release, Lennox says “’Lepidoptera’ (the biological classification for ‘butterfly’) is comprised of four extemporised piano pieces, which were performed and recorded live several years ago. Butterfly Music is far from any ‘conventional’ recording I’ve ever released, primarily because it has no voice parts whatsoever. My hope for this ambient music is that whoever hears it will be calmed and soothed, in a world that’s becoming exponentially more hectic and bombarded by sonic overload.”
Across Lennox’s career, both solo and as one-half of the pop duo Eurythmics, the Academy Award- and Grammy-winning artist has achieved top 40-charting hit singles and albums across a wide variety of Billboard’s charts. Among them: the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 songs and Billboard 200 albums charts; along with Pop Songs, Mainstream Rock Songs, Alternative Songs, Dance Club Songs, Blues Digital Song Sales, Jazz Albums, Holiday Albums and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
Lepidoptera track list
1. “Papilio Machaon”
2. “Parnassius Apollo”
3. “Apatura Iris”
I’m delighted to announce that ‘Lepidoptera’ is released for download and streaming today!! Four piano pieces to calm and soothe whoever hears it to a place of tranquility. It’s a small ambient greetings postcard, sent with love from me! Love AL
— https://t.co/ghgNN9xjce — pic.twitter.com/BxifSna3w0
— Annie Lennox (@AnnieLennox) May 24, 2019