Daft Punk have announced their fourth album, Random Access Memories. The long-awaited LP, the French duo's first with Columbia Records, is due on 20 May in the UK.
Following months of hints and teases, Daft Punk are finally showing their hand for the follow-up to 2005's Human After All. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter launched a website this weekend, unveiling the record's title and release date, as well as confirming the album cover art. This double-helmetted graphic is an image the French duo first shared in January, when they announced their deal with Columbia.
On Saturday night, Daft Punk repeated a trick they first played on 2 March, releasing 15 seconds of new music through a television commercial. Clearly the DJs are fans of sketch comedy: once again, the ad was shown during an episode of Saturday Night Live. The new clip seems to be taken from the same song, but boasts some of Daft Punk's distinctive vocoder. Loose and funky, it evokes Discovery's cyber-disco much more than Human After All's robo-rock.
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One of the track's guitarists is Chic's Nile Rodgers, who recorded with the band last year. "When you listen to the clip that dropped on Saturday Night Live, it pretty much shows you the great collaboration," he recently told Rolling Stone. "It's clear as a bell … The collaboration felt so unbelievably natural that it made me realise I need to be in the studio with people." Random Access Memories may also reportedly include contributions by Chilly Gonzales, Panda Bear and Muppets songwriter Paul Williams.
Daft Punk's last album was a relative disappointment. Unlike 1997's Homework or 2001's Discovery, Human After All didn't produce a single top 10 hit; it's never even been certified gold. But over the last eight years, Daft Punk have seen an explosion in popularity – they're probably the biggest dance act in the world. More important than their soundtrack for Tron: Legacy or getting sampled by Kanye West is the reputation of the duo's live shows. Even years before the EDM boom, fans were raving about Daft Punk's neon raves.
Random Access Memories is available to order, including a version on gatefold double vinyl.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk