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The new album from Chris Stewart’s synth-pop project Black Marble, Bigger Than Life, arrives Oct. 25 via Sacred Bones Records, and its third single is “Private Show,” a hypnotic new track released Thursday alongside a naturalistic music video.
Despite the exclusivity implied by its title, “Private Show” finds Stewart reaching out in all directions, examining the common links between people—the desires, fears and fantasies that make us who we are. “Everybody’s on their way to heaven / Everybody’s gotta die to get there / Everybody knows the only way to go / is to set up a private show,” muses Stewart over rapid-fire drum machines, the song’s steady stream of bass notes overlaid with flurries of synth and sparing guitars, a torrent of mesmerizing melody. Emily Edrosa lends additional guitar to the track, Stewart’s sole collaboration on Bigger Than Life.
Stewart says of the new track in a statement:
“Private Show” strongly reflects the themes of solitude vs. community and counterbalancing the desire for personal recognition against the feelings of safety and anonymity derived from surrendering to something bigger than oneself. The characters of “Private Show” all have a choice to make, whether to be fully themselves at the expense of their community or seek the embrace of the group at the expense of their agency. In the end the narrator feels destined for the path of solitude yet makes an effort to find another kindred spirit for the journey.
Meanwhile, Stewart makes his Black Marble music video debut in the Ben Joyner-directed “Private Show” visual, shot on film on location in Neshoba County, Miss. A subdued Stewart performs amid attendees at rodeos, horse races, concerts, amusement park rides and carnival games, standing apart from the crowd even as he moves among them. “Having set the stage in this way it felt right to metaphorically ‘show up’ for this one and lend myself to this character who feels both on the inside and outside of this world at the same time,” says Stewart of his appearance in the video.
Director Joyner explains his vision for the video in a statement:
For “Private Show,” I really wanted to create something that felt alive and spontaneous. The track had this immense emotional weight to it, but also felt really fun. The goal was to craft something that reflected that feeling. The concept was born out of my personal relationship with an event in Mississippi called the Neshoba County Fair. It’s the nation’s largest campground fair, an abandoned southern shantytown that comes to life for one week every year at the end of July. It’s a wild and beautiful place that feels almost frozen in time. And while it’s really unique and special, it also carries some historical tension that is palpable. The music provided a rich emotional landscape to explore the place and the people that inhabit it. I loved the idea of bringing Black Marble to the fair and sort of dropping him into the middle of the spectacle.
Black Marble tours North America in support of Bigger Than Life beginning this November, performing at SUBSTANCE Festival in his current home base of Los Angeles and Levitation Festival in Austin, Texas, before making his way over to the East Coast.
Take in the “Private Show” video and Black Marble’s 2017 Daytrotter session below, and find his tour dates further down. You can revisit the details of Bigger Than Life right here.
Black Marble Tour Dates:
02 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ SUBSTANCE at the Los Angeles Theater
05 – Tucson, Ariz. @ Club Congress
07 – Austin, Texas @ Levitation at Empire Control Room
08 – Oklahoma City, Okla. @ 89th Street
09 – Memphis, Tenn. @ Hi-Tone
10 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement
12 – Columbus, Ohio @ Ace of Cups
13 – State College, Pa. @ Webster’s
14 – Oberlin, Ohio @ Oberlin College
15 – Toronto, Ont. @ Eisbaer 2019
16 – Montreal, Que. @ Bar Le Ritz
19 – Hamden, Conn. @ Space Ballroom
20 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Underground Arts
21 – Baltimore, Md. @ Metro Gallery
22 – New York, N.Y. @ Bowery Ballroom (Record Release Show) w/ Automatic
24 – Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat