Fraser T Smith has announced his new EP Future Utopia and shared first single ‘We Were We Still Are’ – listen below.
The track marks the acclaimed producer and musician’s first outing under his Future Utopia moniker in 2023, serving as the lead single from his new EP of the same name, out June 9 via The Orchard/70Hz.
“Heads down, swallow the screen and feel images / Imprint themselves. Big world, little villagers / Living the dream, dreaming of waking / Who isn’t afraid of things changing?” singer and poet Tempest recites over brisk drums and a psychedelic guitar.
Check out the single below.
“‘We Were We Still Are’ is about progression through time and space – what we keep hold of and what we leave behind,” Smith said in a press statement. “I wanted my next body of work to encapsulate a lot of the elements of my first album, the experimental chords, the warm 70’s aesthetic and the collaborations but also to show some progress as an artist.
“This has been a huge turning point for me creatively. I’ve wanted to work with Kae Tempest for years and finally got the opportunity on the title track. Kae’s lyrical dexterity and flow knocked me sideways on this track and the subsequent interlude. It sets up the EP in a hugely confident, uplifting way.”
The new EP, which follows 2020’s 12 Questions, will also feature collaborations with Biig Piig and Tomi.
“Working with Biig Piig was a great experience. We originally wrote ‘Your Love’ over an electronic beat, but I felt the message was getting lost, so I toned the track down to let the song breathe,” Smith Continued.
“‘This Time’ is a song I wrote in Las Vegas. There’s a Paris Texas desert like theme running through a lot of my new music with the Americana guitars and Washington style breaks I’m using. The song is about not pushing your luck at the tables… Being able to walk away while you’re ahead.
“‘Make It Home’ came from a session a few years ago with the incredible artist Tomi. We wrote this in a day and spent most of the time laughing and joking. I’d never forgotten the track and really wanted to reimagine it for a Future Utopia release. The lyrics feel poignant for the last track on the EP where we come full circle back to where it all began.”
Check out the We Were We Still Are tracklisting below.
We Were We Still Are
1. We Were We Still Are – Future Utopia ft. Kae Tempest
2. We Were We Still Are (Interlude) – Future Utopia ft. Kae Tempest
3. Your Love – Future Utopia ft. Biig Piig
4. This Time – Future Utopia
5. Make It Home – Future Utopia ft. Tomi
12 Questions featured a host of collaborations with artists including Stormzy, Dave, Kano, Ghetts, Bastille, Idris Elba and more, which discusses issues ranging from faith, freedom, race, gender, wealth, equality and ecology.
“I had the time of my life asking rappers, poets, activists and artists questions and adding music around their answers,” Smith said in a recent Instagram post.
“When it came to thinking about my next body of work, Kae Tempest was at the top of my list of collaborators,” he continued, adding that he’s a huge fan of their albums and 2020 book On Connections.
In 2021 Smith spoke to Rolling Stone UK about utilising pioneering audio for his live shows, and his hopes for other venues to follow suit.
“When I did my first gig at Bold Tendencies in Peckham we were able to experience the sonics bouncing from wall to wall,” he explained. Everyone had a special experience because they were experiencing the music I had created in my own way and the sounds were bouncing from 14 speakers surrounding the audience.
“That’s how I want my music to be perceived going forward.”