As one half of the French duo Air, Nicolas Godin has been making beautiful, luxurious, vaguely kitschy music since the late ’90s. Air have thrown us a few curveballs over the years, but they’ve mostly maintained the lush groove that they pioneered with Moon Safari. So now that Godin has announced his first-ever solo album, it’s striking to see him leaping into the unknown with such abandon. Godin’s forthcoming album is called Contrepoint, and it’s inspired by Glenn Gould, the brilliant and troubled pianist, and his performances of Bach. The songs start out with Bach pieces as a foundation, and then they take off running from there. First single “Orca” is a hyperactive riot of intricately arranged blips and bleeps. Godin has shared its new video, which Sean Pecknold, the animator brother of Fleet Foxes frontman Robin, directed. In the clip, physical objects and shapes move in time with the music, which means they move fast. Check it out below.
Contrepoint is coming later this year on Because Music. Also, Godin says that Air aren’t breaking up but that “we weren’t surprising ourselves anymore.” Godin has roots in classical music, and he says he went back to that “to grow up musically, to renew myself.”