Yesterday Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails frontman and general purveyor of new music technologies, teased us all on Instagram with new music. But before anyone even had a chance to hope that it would be new NIN, Reznor was explicit in his caption: “THIS IS NOT NEW NINE INCH NAILS!” Sure, this was a minor disappointment, but to be honest, the sweeping ambient work that Reznor does with his co-conspirator Atticus Ross is some of my favorite music he has been responsible for recently. And never ones to disappoint, their latest tune is great: “A Minute to Breathe” is a really delicate, contemplative hymn that the duo recorded for Leonardo DiCaprio’s forthcoming climate change film, Before the Flood, which airs on National Geographic on October 30.
The 6-minute track focuses heavily on the conceit of legacy and what we are willing to leave behind for those who come after us. After listening to the track all the way though, the meaning of the title shifts: a “moment to breathe” feels less like a therapeutic midday break and more like a luxury that is in dire jeopardy. In the aforementioned Instagram post (check it out below), Reznor also promises a full soundtrack for the film, which will be a collaboration between the duo, Mogwai, and composer Gustavo Santaolalla.
THIS IS NOT NEW NINE INCH NAILS! Here is an excerpt of the new song “a minute to breathe” that Atticus and I wrote for the upcoming film Before the Flood, which airs globally in 171 countries and 45 languages on the National Geographic Channel starting October 30. The full soundtrack will be out soon and is a collaboration between us, Gustavo Santaolalla and Mogwai.
Okay, so despite Reznor’s clear-as-day message that the above song is not new Nine Inch Nails, where do we stand with new music he promised us in 2016?
New NIN coming in 2016. Other stuff, too.
— Trent Reznor (@trent_reznor) December 18, 2015
In another recent, now-deleted Instagram post (via Entertainment Weekly), Reznor responded to a fan asking about the new material with a very open-ended response: “2016 is not over yet.” Sounds promising, but also weirdly spooky? I don’t know man, I will take whatever Reznor gives.
Matt Grosinger is the music editor of Nerdist and wants Trent Reznor to put out ambient records for the rest of his days. Hit him up on Twitter if you so desire.