AIR’S NICOLAS GODIN ANNOUNCES CONCRETE AND GLASS (EXPANDED EDITION) TO BE RELEASED ON JUNE 25 + NEW SONG “ANOTHER SIDE” FT WE ARE KING
When Air’s Nicolas Godin released his second studio solo album Concrete and Glass in early 2020, it proved to be one of the most conceptually intriguing sets of recent times. Buoyed by a carefully curated selection of guest vocalists, the album paid homage to some of the world’s most visually striking architectural creations – spanning the hills of Los Angeles to the suburbs of Moscow via the south of France – all through the warm prism of Godin’s exquisite minimalist pop.
Nicolas Godin now presents a deeper dive into the album’s hypnotic allure by announcing details of the Concrete and Glass: Expanded Edition, which will be released on June 25th via Because. It expands upon his original vision by adding six bonus tracks.
The Expanded Edition is today launched with the new song “Another Side”, which features the Grammy-nominated alternative R&B duo We Are KING. Immediately enamouring, “Another Side” is a slick groove that pulsates with radiant synths, an understated disco-flavoured bassline and sleek neo-soul vocal harmonies. It’s a bigger, more pop-leaning soundscape than anything on the original album, but its elegant flow makes it feel like a very natural extension.
Nicolas Godin commented, “I’m happy that this song finally found its path thanks to We Are KING. I wrote this song a few years ago when I was just having fun with my children in the Air studio. For some reason I always thought this tune could make a good song and I decided not to give up on it. Finally after all these years, I had the extreme pleasure to hear what We are KING have done with it and will always remember that night when I heard “Another Side” on my phone for the first time. It was the confirmation for me that everything comes at the right time when you let destiny guide your steps.”
We Are KING said, “Another Side” is an ode to searching for one’s self – it’s about those moments where you need to break away and are looking for something more, sometimes on the other side of the veil. It’s a tribute to the feeling of freeing your mind – and it was so exciting to create this moment of music with Nicolas Godin, who we deeply admire.”
“Another Side” is released alongside an imaginative official video. It places the song in the context of a computer game, in which the lead character Amber The Brave and her dog Rio The Dalmatian explore a globe-trotting array of locations. Just like the album transports us to visions of buildings designed by Le Corbusier, Richard Neutra and John Lautner, the game journeys between virtual wonders: a psychedelic mirror world, a Parisienne Love Arts Center and an ancient forest. The visual’s concept, design and 3D animation was created by the acclaimed Brazilian creative Iracema Trevisan, previously of CSS, with additional design by digital artist Gabriel Massan.
Iracema Trevisan explains the idea, “I love the interpretation of We Are KING to this song, the way they sound fierce, brave but still vulnerable. That’s where the idea for the game hero came from. I wanted to illustrate this eternal quest for something else, for “Another Side” of life. It can be thrilling like finding magic doors in a virtual maze.”
Besides “Another Side”, Expanded Edition includes three more collaborations with artists who appeared on the original album. After creating a psychedelic-tinged topline to “We Forgot Love”, Kadhja Bonet returns with “Love Theme”, this time spinning the velvet timbre of Billie Holiday with some yé-yé flair and cinematic grandeur. That magnified intensity also informs “Girl Like Sally”, which reprises and reshapes Kirin J Callinan’s vocals from “Time On My Hands” into something with almost new romantic aspirations. Finally, Russian art-pop experimentalist Kate NV furthers the postmodern melancholy that made “Back To Your Heart” so compelling with renewed vigour on “Ti I Ya”.
The package is completed by two early demo versions. First is an early version of “Another Side”, a beautiful, Bacharach-flavoured baroque pop song which Godin wrote with his daughter and son. His then 10-year old daughter Adele performs the impossibly pure vocals that lead the track, which was then titled “L’Enfance n’a qu’un temps” and translates as “Childhood Only Lasts For So Long”. It’s followed by an early instrumental sketch of “Catch Yourself Falling” (originally known as “Spring Ritournelle”), its serene, piano-based ambience sounded like a great lost Air track.
Concrete and Glass: Expanded Edition will be released on digital and streaming formats, and is available to pre-save HERE.
The original Concrete and Glass album received a positive critical reception, with many making upbeat comparisons with Air’s enigmatic retro-futurism. Q described it as being “as dreamy and captivating as anything Nicolas Godin has ever done,” while Pitchfork highlighted its “ornate songwriting, luxuriant synth-and-string production, and moments of alchemical magic that Godin charms out of his guest vocalists,” and The Guardian commented, “Godin still has a gift for a very restrained kind of beauty.”