Following last month’s announcement that Neneh Cherry will release her first solo album in 16 years – a collaboration with RocketNumberNine, produced by Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn – Neneh is now ready to share further details of this forthcoming record with the world. The 10-track album, recorded and mixed over a 5-day period, will be titled Blank Project, and it will be out February Monday 25th (UK/Europe) Tuesday 26th (US) 2014 on Smalltown Supersound. It follows 2012’s The Cherry Thing, a collaborative record with free jazz, noise collective The Thing, which featured new versions of songs by The Stooges, MF Doom, Ornette Coleman, amongst others.
While her energy and demeanor may not have changed since the days of Rip Rig + Panic, musically, Blank Project is a departure from anything Neneh has previously done, initially written as a means of working through personal tragedy. What stands out upon first listen is the album’s sparseness: loose drums and a few synthesizers are the only accompaniment to Neneh’s wildly poetic, sometimes-spoken, sometimes-screeching, soul-flooded and raw vocals. The space created by this minimal aesthetic leaves room for occasional pistes and flurries of rapid, yet throbbing and thunderous instrumentation. Featuring combined elements of beat poetry, avant-electronica and beautiful vocal melodies, it’s a record that uses simple ideas to create something entirely original. And despite the personal struggles Neneh was working through in writing this new material, the songs are far from introverted.