Cosmo Sheldrake Releases New Single “Old Ocean” as a Response to Environmental Threats

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Cosmo Sheldrake released the new single “Old Ocean” today (February 22) as part of his forthcoming album Eye to the Ear. Alongside the single is a visual element directed by Narna Hue. The new album, Sheldrake’s second full-length studio project, is out on April 12.

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Recently, Sheldrake released the singles “Stop the Music” and “Does the Swallow Dream of Flying,” also from the new album. “Old Ocean” is, in part, a response to the threats plaguing ocean habitats and fauna. Additionally, Sheldrake has said that the single was produced almost completely using solar power while he was living in an off-grid cottage.

“Around this time [2020-2021] there was a lot of discussion of so-called ‘alternative facts’, and the idea of truth was becoming ever more slippery in public discourse,” said Sheldrake, per a press release. “In this song, I try to make sense of these developments against the ever-present backdrop of acidification, dead zones, deep sea mining, coral reef bleaching, overfishing, noise pollution, and many other threats that the ocean faces.”

The single release features an intro, the track “Old Ocean,” and an additional track titled “I Did and I Don’t and I Do.” The main track is a melancholy love letter to the sea, praising the ocean in all its forms, whether calm, whether stormy / whether green or blue / whether vain, whether haughty / whether win or lose.

The single opens, Old ocean / thank you for holding me / won’t be the same without you, which plainly states what’s going on before launching into Cosmo Sheldrake’s well-known wordplay and rich images.

Cosmo Sheldrake Releases Love Song for the Ocean Plus Visual Element

Of the video Sheldrake said, “I am very excited to share the music video for ‘Old Ocean,’ directed by Narna Hue. We had a lot of fun making it. Narna created wonders with the amazing sets, costumes and choreography.”

Cosmo Sheldrake takes a unique approach to his music usually, but with Eye to the Ear he has taken his process and matured it, grown as an artist, and created a project that reflects that. This album goes from a nine-piece choir to field recordings of curlews, whales, fish, and frogs. This harmony between human-made music and the music of the natural world is often present in Sheldrake’s work, such as on the EPs Wake Up Calls (2020) and Wild Wet World (2023).

Sheldrake’s creative humor is ever-present throughout the new album, which connects this project to his overall body of work. Eye to the Ear features danceable bops, orchestral elegies, and celebratory anthems, spanning the unique, unusual, and musical aspects of the natural world.

Additionally, Sheldrake is going on tour in the U.K. and Europe in 2024. The tour begins on April 12 in London and concludes on October 12 in Stroud.

Featured Image by Jack Thompson-Roylance

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