Over the span of two decades, M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez has firmly established himself as an artist whose work transcends mere escapism in favor of full-on worldbuilding. Whether it be via his celebrated studio albums, film soundtracks, or compositions for stage productions, Gonzalez has proven that nothing surpasses his ability to perfectly encapsulate a specific time, emotion, or sense of place.
Gonzalez’s widescreen sensibilities began in the early 2000s as he found a wellspring of inspiration in shoegaze artists. He channeled these acts by equipping his music with massive, pulsing synthesizers that wash over listeners and instill a feeling of mystical awe. These early experimentations in Gonzalez’s hometown of Antibes have grown to manifest as a GRAMMY-nominated musical juggernaut who has headlined Los Angeles’s famed Hollywood Bowl, wowed audiences across the globe, and sold over a million units of his 2011 album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.
Now, M83 returns with Fantasy, the first album to be released on Other Suns, the brand-new label personally helmed by the man himself.
For Gonzalez, Fantasy‘s direction and aesthetic was immediately clear. “I wanted this record to be very impactful live,” he says. “The idea was to come back with something closer to the energy of Before The Dawn Heals Us. The combination of guitars and synths is always in my music, but it’s maybe more present on this new record than on the previous ones.”
Reserved in nature, Gonzalez also sought to continue a trend that has become more prominent in his recent albums. “I wanted to be more present lyrically and vocally even if that was daunting at first,” he states. “I thought if I could achieve that, this album will be more personal than those that came before.”
To capture the exuberance of his dazzling live performances, Gonzalez altered his typical recording process. “I would usually write the demos and then go to my producer to start working on an album,” he details. “But this time was a little different. I just wanted to feel the energy of other musicians. It’s been a long time since my last tour and we had COVID in between. The feeling of musicians playing together is something that was missing a bit.”
Fantasy, the ninth studio album from M83, is out March 17 via Other Suns/ Virgin Records France.