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LISTEN: Holly Johnson - Follow Your Heart
Laurie Tuffrey , June 20th, 2014 07:26

From Europa, the former Frankie Goes To Hollywood man's first new album in 15 years; UK tour in October

Holly Johnson has just announced the release of Europa, his first new album in 15 years. Europa, the follow-up to 1999's Soulstream, will be out on September 29 through Johnson's Pleasuredome label, and we've got a first play of the lead-off single, 'Follow Your Heart' - have a listen above.

Following the release of Soulstream, Johnson headed to art school, picking up where he'd left off in 1983, when he declined an offer to study at Liverpool Art College after the success of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's debut single, 'Relax'. His work at The Royal College of Art was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show and Tate Liverpool, and he made sporadic musical appearances, including a vocal turn on The Justice Collective's 2012 Christmas no.1 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', before meeting producer Mark Ralph in the same year, when the latter was working on The 2 Bears' album Be Strong. All-night recording sessions laid the groundwork for Europa, which includes guest spots from Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music and Vini Reilly of The Durutti Column, as well as a title track which Johnson first began writing with Vangelis in Paris in 1990 (working in an underground bunker "originally designed for Hitler's occupation", no less). 'Follow Your Heart' also gets remixes from the late Frankie Knuckles and Erik Kupper, both of which will be included on the track's single release on July 27.

As well as appearances at the Rewind festival on August 15 and 31, Johnson will be setting off on a seven-date UK tour in support of the album in October; head to his website, where you can also pre-order the album from midnight tonight, for full details.