San Fransisco-based Holly Herndon announced her new album this week called PROTO by sharing the accompanying album artwork, her lead single "Eternal", and the music video. It's been several years since Herndon's last LP Platform back in 2015. It's evident that she plans to defy music composition and the experimental genre as we know it even further in her second album. She is uniquely known for her computer-programmed music tracks and custom-created instruments. Now, PROTO will take her process one step further. Herndon and female producer/electronic visionary Jlin have developed Spawn - an Artificial Intelligence (AI) "being" held in a gaming PC. She will also perform with an ensemble of vocalists and developers. When speaking about her decision to involve both advanced tech and real live sounds, Herndon says "choosing to work with an ensemble of humans is part of our protocol. I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage. I want an A.I. to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty."
"Eternal" follows her classic paragon of mixing electronic and contemporary together to create a beautiful mash-up; balancing echoey harmonies and rattles of rare-sounding instruments. What begins as a high-pitched chant, perhaps sung in a unique dialect Herndon has conceived, explodes into an emotional and experimental ride.
Herndon released another track entitled "Godmother" late last year (also in collaboration with Jlin and Spawn) that also will be featured on PROTO. Catch the album's official release on May 10th via 4AD records.
PROTO track list:
3 Canaan (Live Training)
6 Extreme Love (with Lily Anna Hayes and Jenna Sutela)
8 Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt
10 Evening Shades (Live Training)
11 Bridge (with Martine Syms)
12 Godmother (with Jlin)
13 Last Gasp