Just last week Albert Hammond Jr announced his fourth studio album Francis Trouble and premiered the track ‘Muted Beatings’ on Conan. Today, Albert is pleased to share the official video for the track. Directed by Fraser RIGG and starring Portia Doubleday the ‘Muted Beatings’ video was shot on 35mm film and explores the idea that emotional connection can eclipse time
“I followed Fraser into the abyss,” notes Albert. “He had a real vision he expressed by saying ‘Love is the one thing that transcends time and space.’ I felt like he was moved by the song and knew how to capture it visually. I understood what he meant but to me the love didn’t represent human connection. I knew It would be the most universal way to show it visually but I found myself realizing the cycle of who I was and what I was about to become, with the death of my old self and the birth of this new person, was what transcended time and space. That love for life, that lust for life is forever reshaping itself.”
Watch the video here.
Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. In November of 1979, Hammond Jr’s mother, Claudia, miscarried. Although they rushed to the hospital, Claudia and Albert Hammond Sr. were told that the baby was far too premature to live. Albert continued to grow inside of his mother undetected until she was nearly six months pregnant.
Although he had always known of the existence of Francis, it was not until he was 36 years old that he learned from an aunt that part of Francis had remained behind in the womb and was born alongside him – a fingernail. With his music moving in a different path than before, Hammond Jr wondered if this new direction came from another avenue of himself, perhaps emanating from whatever he and the departed Francis had shared for the few short months they had together.
Taking a page from Bowie, Hammond Jr says: “What the music says may be serious, but as a medium it should not be questioned, analyzed or taken too seriously. I think it should be tarted up, made into a character, a parody of itself. The music is the mask the message wears and I, the performer, am the message.”
Working within this mentality, Hammond Jr created Francis Trouble, an homage to both the death of his twin and his own birth, as well as the complexities of identity that arise because of their intermingling. The number 36 became especially relevant, as he had learned more of Francis’s story at that age, and because he was born on the 9th day of the 4th month of the year. Significantly, the album is exactly 36 minutes long.
In celebration of Francis Trouble Albert just wrapped up a short run with The Killers and after a very short break will cross the pond for a tour overseas with Franz Ferdinand followed by a US headlining tour. A full list of dates can be found below.
Preorder Francis Trouble:
Stream ‘Muted Beatings’: