It’s been common knowledge for months that there are at least three more David Bowie songs from the Blackstar sessions that have remained unreleased. They’re scheduled for release as part of the Lazarus cast album, which is out on Friday, and yesterday the BBC premiered one of the songs, “When I Met You” — you can hear it here, if you skip through to about the 51-minute mark.
The song is… well, it’s good. Of course it is. It certainly bears the sonic hallmarks of the Blackstar band — there’s the raucous, free-jazz influenced arrangement, the weirdly disorienting backing vocals, Tony Visconti’s ever-pristine production. And then there’s Bowie’s voice, as instantly recognizable as ever, singing to us from beyond the grave. For this listener, at least, hearing “When I Met You” was a strange, somber experience — the knowledge that this is one of the very last “new” things we’ll ever hear from one of our greatest talents, and the strange realization that the man whose voice this was just… isn’t here any more. If nothing else, it makes these last songs all the more valuable.