After surprising everyone last month with a new single and promises of more music to come, David Bowie has dropped a second, rockier track and an eye-catching clip.
New single “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and its accompanying video arrived today. It’s a return to alternative rock for Bowie, following on from the mid-tempo release from last month, “Where Are We Now?.” And it gives another taste of what the British legend has been doing these past two years.
Directed by Floria Sigismondi and shot by Jeff Cronenweth, the new clip features David Bowie and Tilda Swinton as a typical, middle-aged married couple. Early in the piece, the pair visit a supermarket where Bowie picks up a copy of a gossip mag, entitled “Pantheon.” Emblazoned on the front page is a headline, “Celebrity Couple’s Twisted Antics.” It’s an omen of times ahead, as the couple’s world is turned upside down with the arrival of two “celebrities,” played by Andrej Pejic and Saskia De Brauw.
There’s vintage Bowie impersonations, androgynous characters and a descent into madness. Fans will recognize the photo in the top right corner of the “Pantheon” front page as belonging to a young Bowie, taken from his 1976 film “The Man Who Fell To Earth.” This is a clip Bowie’s many supporters will watch more than once.
The lyrics for “The Stars” are posted on David Bowie’s official Website.
It’s the second song lifted from Bowie’s upcoming new album, “The Next Day” (Iso/Columbia Records), which will be distributed as a pre-order, in the “standard” and “deluxe” packages, the latter containing three bonus tracks. The staggered release will arrive in Australia on March 8, followed by the rest of the world-excluding the U.S. on March 11 and the U.S. the following day.
Select Australian media will get an early sample of the Tony Visconti-produced album when it’s spun for a series of listening parties this Thursday afternoon local time.
Bowie has been publicity shy in recent years, and hasn’t released a record for a decade. That changed on January 8 – the occasion of his 66th birthday — when the new song and promo “Where Are We Now?” hit the Web. The Times of London newspaper quoted Visconti describing “The Next Day” as “a rock album. There are songs on there that could fill stadiums. We recorded it live, with David on keyboards and guitar. Lyrically it’s a wide gamut. Some songs are personal, looking back; others are observational.”
In the age of social media, it’s nothing short of remarkable that Bowie and his team managed to keep the project a secret until almost the moment of its appearance.
There’s still no news, however, on whether the Thin White Duke will tour the new album.