Shangri-La
by EOB

Album: Earth (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • EOB is Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien, who uses the moniker for his solo work. This electronic groover is the opening track of his debut solo album, Earth.
  • O'Brien wrote this tune about four days after coming back from Glastonbury in 2014. He told NME the song is about happiness and finding peace. "Shangri-La at 4 a.m. with your people is a glorious place to be," O'Brien said. "You feel so happy and at peace at Glastonbury, so the song was about that as well as the journey of trying to find peace of mind in your own life and coming together to celebrate that."
  • In 2011, O'Brien and his family moved to Brazil and lived for a year on a farm. During their time there, they visited Rio's famous carnival, an experience that inspired Earth. O'Brien told The Sun: "Glastonbury is like our carnival, our therapist. It's a place where I will always feel incredibly happy, even when it's muddy."
  • Shangri-La (which stands for "hidden Buddhist Lama paradise") is an imaginary, permanently happy land, isolated from the world. The name originated in English writer James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon. Several other artists have recorded songs inspired by Hilton's mythical paradise. They include The Kinks, The Electric Light Orchestra, The Four Coins, S.J. Tucker and The Rutles.
  • Portishead's Adrian Utley contributes the guitar at the end of "Shangri-La." O'Brien told Uncut magazine that Portishead's first album, Dummy, came out when Radiohead was making The Bends. "Adrian's an old mucker," he said. "We were compadres, crossed paths."

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