Holly Herndon has announced a new album, Proto, that furthers her fascination with machines and technology. She’s also dropped the song “Eternal,” which is a compelling preview of the live vocal processing and folk singing the album promises.
The American producer and sound artist has long been on the cutting edge of experimental electronic music, using visual programming language to create custom instruments and vocal processes while exploring various topics like modern computing and surveillance.
For Proto, she’s pushed the envelope even further by recruiting not just human collaborators such as Jlin and Martine Syms, but also “an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC,” as her press materials put it.
“There’s a pervasive narrative of technology as dehumanizing,” Herndon said in a statement. “We stand in contrast to that. It’s not like we want to run away; we’re very much running towards it, but on our terms. Choosing to work with an ensemble of humans is part of our protocol. I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage. I want an AI to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty.”
Proto is out May 10 on 4AD. Watch the video for “Eternal” below: