Daniel Johns has delayed the release of his forthcoming second solo album, ‘FutureNever’, citing his desire to include a collaborative track with orchestral pop icon and previous collaborator Van Dyke Parks.
Initially slated for release on April 1, the album will now land three weeks later, hitting shelves via BMG on April 22 – which also happens to be Johns’ 43rd birthday. The former Silverchair frontman announced the delay in a post to his Instagram earlier today (March 8), explaining to fans that his Van Dyke Parks collaboration, titled ‘Emergency Calls Open’, is crucial to the release as it’s “one of the most honest songs [Johns has] ever written”.
Johns noted that the song “has required a little bit more work to get it to the point it needed to be [to be suitable for release]”, leaving him with three options – to “include this song on the record incomplete”, “leave the song off the record entirely and hit the April 1 release date”, or “spend the extra time needed on the track and move the release of FutureNever by a few weeks”.
He involved Parks after having the composer on as a guest for his recent podcast, Who Is Daniel Johns?, where they spoke candidly about collaborating on the 2002 Silverchair album ‘Diorama’. Parks contributed significantly to the orchestral arrangements that feature on the album, as well as 2007’s ‘Young Modern’.
When the pair began working on ‘Emergency Calls Only’, Johns said, they “rekindled [the] energy and spirit” they had together in the ‘Diorama’ sessions, leading Johns to “genuinely think it’s worth the extra time to get right”.
He continued: “It sounds like a portal into a different place and time, once you step into it you’re not sure if you have gone back or forward in time. I think I understand you guys pretty well after being more engaged on [Instagram] and I feel I owe you the best record I can possibly create, I want to deliver the creative vision to you all without compromise.”
When it arrives towards the end of April, ‘FutureNever’ will mark Johns’ second album as a solo artist, following 2015’s ‘Talk’. It will also mark his first new music since ‘No One Defeats Us’, his 2018 collaborative album with Empire Of The Sun‘s Luke Steele as Dreams.
“FutureNever is a place where your past, present and future collide – in the FutureNever the quantum of your past experiences become your superpower,” Johns explained in a letter to fans upon its announcement.
No singles will be released from ‘FutureNever’ in the lead-up to its arrival, as “the album is designed to be enjoyed as an album”. As Johns continued in his letter: “Call me a hopeless romantic but that’s the benefit of releasing music on your own label. Nobody can tell you what to do.
“‘FutureNever’ is an eclectic mix of music that I’ve made over the last couple of years. A few of my friends will be jumping on the record, I’ll be slowly revealing them in the lead up to the album.”
NME recently featured ‘FutureNever’ on its list of Australian releases to look forward to in 2022, with writer Alex Gallagher saying: “Almost seven years since his last solo record, the reclusive Daniel Johns is ready to return.
“Following the release of an in-depth podcast series, the former Silverchair frontman says he’s ‘[made] peace’ with his past and is ‘not anxious about what comes next’ – welcome news for those who’ve been patiently awaiting a fresh chapter from one of the country’s most legendary songwriters.”