For the last few years, music fans have wondered if they would ever heard from David Bowie again. The singer hasn't issued a new album since 2003's Reality and hasn't performed in public since 2006. In a surprise move, Bowie is celebrating his 66th birthday (today, 8 January) by releasing the song Where Are We Now?, which will be featured on an upcoming album, The Next Day, due 12 March.
The track – a gently affecting work of understated melancholy, framed by resonant piano-and-guitar treatments – and its parent album were both produced by longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti. Where Are We Now? is accompanied by a haunting video directed by Tony Oursler and recalls the singer's mid-to-late '70s Berlin period. Bowie is seen in the clip looking in on footage of the auto repair shop beneath the apartment he lived in at the time.
The release of Where Are We Now? and The Next Day was announced on the singer's website in a statement which reads: "Throwing shadows and avoiding the industry treadmill is very David Bowie despite his extraordinary track record that includes album sales in excess of 130 million not to mention his massive contributions in the area of art, fashion, style, sexual exploration and social commentary. It goes without saying that he has sold out stadiums and broken ticket records throughout the world during this most influential of careers.
"In recent years radio silence has been broken only by endless speculation, rumor and wishful thinking... a new record... who would have ever thought it, who'd have ever dreamed it! After all David is the kind of artist who writes and performs what he wants when he wants...when he has something to say as opposed to something to sell. Today he definitely has something to say."
No news yet as to whether Bowie will tour in support of The Next Day. For more information, including the album's tracklisting, visit the official David Bowie website.