On Oct. 22, synthwave artist Chris Stewart will release Fast Idol, his fourth album, following 2019’s Bigger Than Life, under the name Black Marble. Last month, he shared the album’s upbeat and dynamic lead single “Somewhere,” which arrived with a video that we remarked “will make you happy to be alive.” Today (Aug. 24), he’s shared its follow-up single, the nostalgic and cinematic “Ceiling.”
“Ceiling” finds Black Marble in his wheelhouse of writing catchy vocal melodies over densely layered synth arrangements, capturing the rich ‘80s sound of pounding drums and high synths that feel like rain dripping off your face. Despite sounding so classic, the song is indisputably contemporary-feeling in its composition, using the benefits of modern production to his advantage.
Stewart says of “Ceiling”:
“Ceiling” is about the persistence of memory and the fear of starting to lose the plot on what’s happening. When you talk to people these days, there’s a pervasive sense that we’ve lost a sense of shared reality and yet you never hear anyone indict themselves as being responsible. So this song just deals with the paranoia of thinking like, ok, what if it’s not them it’s me? Or what if it’s not me now, but inevitably it one day will be? And does it matter? ‘In silence for the words we leave behind’ is about holding onto meaning, but not any one idea, just the hope that it persists. It’s a recitation to ward off the thought that we’ll return in another time and be unable to understand the plights of the day, or parse any of the ambiguity that exists between people.
The single arrives with a colorful, cosmic-themed lyric video edited by Alana-Marie French that enhances the song’s already classic, spacey feeling. Check out the video below, as well as a 2017 Daytrotter performance of “A Great Design.” You can preorder Fast Idol, out Oct. 22 on Sacred Bones, right here.