Earlier this month, Daniel Lopatin announced his latest Oneohtrix Point Never album, Age Of. It will be out in June, and it’ll be prefaced by a series of live performances in New York City. Today, he’s released Age Of’s first single, “Black Snow,” and revealed some more details behind the album. Here’s how Lopatin framed his mindset going into its creation in a new bio:
After Garden Of Delete, I found myself working on collabs with other artists a lot. That became my life. So I was thinking a lot about music labor in the antiquated sense; the state or church-appointed artist. It was refreshing and funny to let that energy into my solo work, which suddenly seemed so constrained and private to me. Nothing felt more wrong than making a strictly conceptual album. It needed to be a record of little air-conditioned nightmares that reflected my life as it was.
OPN wrote, recorded, and produced Age Of, and James Blake contributed additional production and mixed it. Lopatin himself sings on a number of the tracks, including “Black Snow,” and there’s vocal contributions across the album from ANOHNI and Prurient. (ANOHNI provides backing vocals on “Black Snow.”) Blake, Kelsey Lu, and Eli Keszler also play instruments on it. One of the songs, “The Station,” started out a demo for Usher.
The song he’s sharing today, “Black Snow,” was inspired by the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, a philosophical collective founded in the mid-’90s by Nick Land and Sadie Plant, and the lyrics draw from the texts that the collective produced, which deal with cyberculture and humanity’s shortcomings. It’s a hollowed-out husk of a song that’s catchy despite itself, crackles and pops and a Daxophone laying the foundation for Lopatin’s staticky, processed musings on the wave of black snow that might take us all away with it.
It comes attached to a gorgeous, surreal video, which Lopatin directed, starring a creature with a snarling row of bottom teeth whose computer workspace gets fenced in by a team in Hazmat suits. The visuals are haunting and grotesquely beautiful, much like the song itself. Watch and listen below.