Enter the time machine: Duran Duran are taking you on a trip to the Future Past.
The legendary British outfit return this October with Future Past, their 15th studio album and the first through BMG.
Frontman Simon Le Bon stopped by The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 this morning to introduce the song for its world premiere.
“It kind of started with the beat,” he explains. “It’s got a very, very assertive drum track, it’s really all about the rhythm. I just had to fit in a melody around that, really.”
The song’s arc started out as “a slightly dysfunctional relationship,” he notes, where the person who never gets a word in figures… “maybe I’m just invisible.”
Le Bon highlights one lyric from it, “And the voiceless crowd ain’t backing down.” In the light of COVID-19 and “everything that’s been going on in the last year and a half really, with all the different public movements and all the noise people have been making,” he continues, “it suddenly sounded relevant in a much bigger way.”
“Invisible” arrives with a cutting-edge clip created by an Artificial Intelligence dubbed Huxley.
It wouldn’t be the first time Duran Duran changed the game with music video.
The band, now comprising Le Bon, Nick Rhodes (keys), John Taylor (bass), Roger Taylor (drums), were arguably the most popular band on the planet in the first half of the ‘80s, thanks to a string of hits including “The Reflex,” “Save a Prayer,” “Hungry Like The Wolf” and the James Bond theme, “A View to a Kill,” all of which were turbo-powered by music videos that towered above others from that period, and coincided with the dawn of MTV.
Unlike many of their peers, Duran Duran continue to create fresh music and they’ve kept the core of their lineup intact (only guitarist Andy Taylor is missing from the classic lineup).
“Invisible” is one of 12 tracks on the new album. Guest producers include Erol Alkan, Giorgio Moroder and Mark Ronson, who worked with the group on their 2010 set All You Need Is Now. Expect to hear collaborations with David Bowie’s former pianist Mike Garson, a duet with Lykke Li and “we’re working on more features,” notes Le Bon. “I’m so excited about this record.”
Future Past was actually prepped and ready to share in 2020. Then COVID swept the globe, and the release was put on hold.
Admittedly, “Invisible” is not a party tune, Le Bon explains. “We didn’t feel it was right to come out with a party banger,” he reckons. “We’re still in these hard times… But we’ve got the party banger.”
Future Past is the followup to 2015’s Paper Gods, which featured assists from Janelle Monae and long-time collaborator Nile Rodgers and went Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic (No. 5 in the U.K. and No. 10 in the U.S).
Duran Duran last month celebrated the 40th anniversary since the release of their debut single “Planet Earth”. To mark the occasion, the band’s entire catalog was recently made available for streaming across all streaming platforms for the first time, and a handful of open-air summer concerts have been announced.
Future Past is slated for release Oct. 22.