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Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien discusses new Glastonbury-inspired single ‘Shangri-La’

Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien discusses new Glastonbury-inspired single ‘Shangri-La’

EOB on Glastonbury Festival: “I go every year because it’s like plugging back in and connecting with your tribe, connecting with one another.”

Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien‘s first single from his debut solo album – titled ‘Earth’ – which is also the opening track, is named after one of Glastonbury’s most special late-night areas – ‘Shangri-La‘ (listen below).

EOB‘s new album has been in the works for proximity eight years, with recording beginning in late 2017 – when O’Brien started putting some songs together in between long stints of touring with Radiohead – and ending in early 2019.

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Speaking about his special relationship with Glastonbury – in an interview to The Face, O’Brien said: “Right. I go every year because it’s like plugging back in and connecting with your tribe, connecting with one another. Because we all feel so alone, right? We’re all so desperate. That’s what I wanted the music to be. I wanted it to have darkness but I didn’t want to stay there. When you’re a teenager, you love watching depressing European art films. I don’t want to watch those films anymore. I don’t want to watch Joker. It’s not good for me. I need things that go there but also have some light. That’s what I wanted with the music.”

Talking about the first single ‘Shangri-La’, taken from his debut album, O’Brien said: I wrote that four days after the 2014 or 2015 Glastonbury. I wanted that feeling, that spirit and feeling that you’re there, the image. I was with one of my friends in Shangri-La at four o’clock in the morning, people were dabbing away at MDMA, and I said to him: What is this?” He said: ​It’s the meeting of the tribes of the north, south, east, west!” I was like: Fuck!” It is all these people, these journeys, where you leave your shit behind.

Adding: “So, four days after Glasto, I’m still feeling great about everything, doing a demo, getting into that spirit and power of people coming together. And trying to do it in a way that is emotional and isn’t clichéd.”

‘Shangri-L’ is out now, with ‘Earth’ set to drop worldwide on April 17 via Capitol Records – Produced by Flood, Catherine Marks, and Adam “Cecil” Bartlett and mixed by Alan Moulder, with contributions from drummer Omar Hakim, Invisible members Nathan East and Dave Okumu, folk singer Laura Marling, Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood.

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