MJ Cole Transitions into a New World of Piano-Based Ambience on New Album
'MJ Cole presents Madrugada' LP is out April 3.
As its title suggests, the album is inspired by madrugada, meaning those strange, seductive hours before sunrise in Spanish. It marks a personal interlude for MJ Cole, real name Matthew Coleman, that transitions him from his electronic music past into a new world of piano-based ambience led almost entirely by his intimate piano playing, accented by subtle electronics and luxurious string arrangements.
“I’ve made hundreds of records and had albums out before, but this record has always been brewing in the background,” Coleman says. “It’s been gestating my whole life, but the execution of it has been very quick.”
Coleman adds: “I really feel like a new artist. This isn’t just me sitting down at the piano and writing something nice and ambient, I’m coming at it as a hardcore manipulator of sounds. You can hear my breath, you can hear the pedal, you can hear the piano as a living instrument. It’s all about expression. When I play the piano I go into a meditative state, other thoughts don’t come into my head.”
Dropping alongside this news is the release of the album’s first single, “Cathedral,” a cinematic blend of gentle piano playing and ethereal, resonant strings accompanied by a Henry Dean-directed music video. Shot in Kiev, Ukraine, it’s a snapshot into the mystical hours of the madrugada and the people that operate in them.
It’s been 17 years since Coleman last released an album. In 2019, he claimed co-writing and co-producing credits on Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head album single “Crown” and unveiled his Waking Up EP.
MJ Cole presents Madrugada will make its live debut at EartH Hackney on Wednesday, April 29. Tickets are available from March 6 here.
01. A Visit To Lolita
02. Far Closer
06. 90 Miles
07. Solo Waltzer
08. Strings For Jodie
10. Psalm 892
11. Dizzy New Heights
MJ Cole presents Madrugada LP is out April 3 with pre-order here. Meanwhile, you can stream “Cathedral” in full below.