“Where We Are Now” by David Bowie (the original vimeo wouldn’t let me embed, so thank you SparkyHughes33 on YT)

Happy Birthday, David Bowie. For his 66th birthday, he’s decided to give all of us a surprise present—a brand new song after nearly a decade of musical silence. “Where Are We Now” is a harrowing ‘state of the planet’ assessment, viewed from a place where he probably felt most, if you’ll forgive the New Ageism, “grounded”—his time spent in Berlin in the late 1970s. The song is produced by long-time collaborator Tony Visconti and the video, directed by Tony Oursler, is disturbingly stunning. It features footage from that time, of his old Berlin neighborhood, mixed in with scenes from a cluttered loft, David and an unknown companion in the guise of sad and neglected children’s dolls, and enough cryptic imagery to keep a team of psychoanalysts happily engaged for decades. It’s a beautifully orchestrated, lyrically wistful, piano and strings-driven stroll through a winter forest of melancholia. Welcome back, David.

If this song out of nowhere isn’t enough to leave one breathless, there’s also a new studio album called “The Next Day” (his first since 2003), to be released on March 8 (Australia) and March 12 (U.S.) on Columbia Records. The album will feature 14 songs, and a deluxe edition will include three bonus tracks. No word yet on if there will be any tour. His last stage performance was at a New York charity concert in 2006. In other Bowie news, Victoria and Albert Museum in London will have a major exhibition dedicated to him, which opens on March 23.

This is going to be quite a year.

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