Posts Tagged ‘Black Country New Road’

For the first time by Black Country, New Road

Did you see Black Country, New Road at Future Yard festival in 2019? They were hot property even then, with just two singles to their name; now, they’re the most talked about band in the UK. The seven-piece’s debut album, For the first time, was released on Friday, and I’d be surprised if you missed it: the album was 6 Music Album Of The Day as well as Rough Trade‘s Album Of The Month; there was a Guardian interview, an Apple Music 1 feature and great reviews from NME and Loud And Quiet.

Black Country New Road’s thrilling debut – “For The First Time” – our February Record of the Month. It is aggressive and inspiringly searching music, they are doubtless one of the most exciting artists to have emerged in the last few years. It’s far from easy going, but it really is a must-listen. London post-rock septet Black Country, New Road hail from the famed Brixton Windmill scene (Fat White Familyblack midi etc). ‘For the first time’ is their debut album and follows the highly-rated singles ‘Athens, France’ and ‘Sunglasses’. The engaging, literate lyrics contain stories of terrible sex and tabloid pop culture references whilst the music is reminiscent of Slint and Sonic Youth experimenting with jazz maybe.

Their much-anticipated debut album “For the first time” was released on February 5th 2021. Recorded with Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine) during the early part of this year and then finished at the end of the nationwide lock-down, the album is the perfect capturing of a new band and all the energy, ferocity and explosive charge that comes with that whilst also clearly the work of a group who have no interest in repetition, one-note approaches or letting creative stagnation set in. Featuring six new songs including reinterpretations of early tracks “Sunglasses” and “Athens, France”, “For the first time” is a sonic time capsule that somehow manages to bottle the past, the present and the future.

“We wanted it to sound exactly how we love to sound live,” says saxophonist Lewis Evans. “This is basically representative of our first 18 months”, continues frontman Isaac Wood.

Indeed the band found they had to stop themselves running too far ahead in order to document this album in a way that felt as truthful as possible.

“We see this as being a stop in the road” explains Isaac. I’ve always been interested in a really honest portrayal of what a band is and what they’ve been working on. I think it’s really nice if people can see an artist like: this was them in the early days, this was their next phase and that they’re quite clear and honest about genuine progression as people and musicians.”

The band have today also shared the new track, “Science Fair”. Minimalist and foreboding, “Science Fair” opens around their rhythm section, precise percussion and bass locking in to allow a residual build from the rest of the band, viola and sax loop and layer over fits and squalls from dual guitars, a synth break and an ever-anxious narrative laid down by Isaac Wood. Climbing towards his desperate exclamation of – “it’s black country out there!” – the song caves in on itself during a blistering, caustic final breakdown. Already a live favourite, “Science Fair” is paired to a video directed by Bart Price who said the following about its themes:

“When developing the music video for ‘Science Fair’, I was thinking about fictitious worlds that we visit through our screens, such as the American high school. Despite our lack of direct experience, these worlds become a universal means of communicating about and understanding things like what it means to grow up, or what it means to be in a friendship group, or to be in love. I wanted to create such a world around Black Country, New Road, placing their music at the heart of a small American town, that in a sense we’ve all been to and lived in.”

Despite having just those two early singles to date, Black Country, New Road – their name originally found on a random Wikipedia generator – have made an impressive impact on fans and critics alike. Declared “the best band in the world” by The Quietus, with glowing reviews from The New York Times to The Guardian, a cover feature for Loud & Quiet, a live BBC 6 Music session, selling out shows across the country (including 1700 tickets in London), being invited to festivals around the world including Primavera and Glastonbury, and finding themselves on French TV sandwiched between Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien.
 
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Their live performances gaining legendary status among fans of the emerging scene that coalesced around vaunted south London venue The Windmill, and which gave rise to many of their peers and contemporaries such as Fat White Family, black midi and Squid, artists with whom they have variously supported, toured with and collaborated with over the years.
 
 
Taken from the album ‘For the first time’, released 5th February on Ninja Tune:
 

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Black Country, New Road are a band who seem to have been tipped for the top ever since they first emerged from a recording studio, pedalling their musical wares. Since first stumbling on their track Athen’s, France back at the start of 2019, I’ve been following their releases with admiration, although nothing has quite sparked my interest in the same way as that first track; that was until this week when the band shared their new single, Track X.

Formed out of the ashes of another band Nervous Conditions, seven-piece Black Country, New Road are one of today’s definitive dark and jazzy post-punk bands. Having released just two singles for Dan Carey’s buzzy Speedy Wunderground label (black midi, Kate Tempest), their surreal sound has already drawn praise from outlets, including Paste and Stereogum, and they were due to storm SXSW this year. While their amusing, slightly gothic debut single “Athen’s, France” dropped Phoebe Bridgers and Ariana Grande references, their nine-minute follow-up “Sunglasses” built to a shrieking horn-laden climax for the ages.

The latest track to be shared from the band’s upcoming album, For the first time, out next month on Ninja Tune, Track X was originally written back in 2018, before being shelved in favour of more immediate thrills suited to the live arena. During the sessions for their new album, the band resurrected the track, embracing the possibilities of the studio to create something expansive and ambitious, as the half-spoken vocals combine with flutters of guitar, stabs of saxophone and violin flourishes.

The music video for ‘Track X’ is about nostalgia for being a kid and happy times with family, stupid moments with friends like feeding Cheetos to a giant horde of birds in a Walmart parking lot, and for Tumblr and YouTube videos of cats. But at the same time balanced with this is a comment on the transience of the past, like with the shots of the abandoned houses, and a sense that maybe what we remember isn’t quite real, like the idealised stock footage. I wanted to combine all of those emotions and thoughts together and make a 2000s style American home video – Bart Price

This is a track that never seems to stand-still, always shape-shifting across its five minutes, whether its mellowing into the Fanfarlo-like chorus, or embracing their more idiosyncratic side in the almost jazzy flourishes of the slowly unwinding outro. Sometimes brilliant, always intriguing and destined for huge success in the year ahead, one thing is for certain; this isn’t the last you’ll hear of Black Country, New Road.

Taken from the album ‘For the first time’, is out February 5th via Ninja Tune Records.

Thanks to Fortherabbits

Born of the same South London scene that’s produced the likes of black midi, PVA and Squid, white-hot septet, Black Country New Road found their band name using a random Wikipedia page generator. The transparent artifice of that is actually fitting: With only three singles to their rather unwieldy name, including 2019’s “Athens, France” and “Sunglasses,” and this year’s “Science Fair,” the U.K. up-and-comers are growing and changing before our eyes, already reimagining the few songs they’ve released for their debut album For the first time, due out February 5th, 2021. Frontman Isaac Wood’s hypnotic speak-singing shifts subtly away from “speak” and towards “sing” on the album, so as to more effectively meld with the band’s mercurial instrumental outbursts. Their thunderous post-punk, spiked with discordant jazz, feels both explosively raw and carefully, ingeniously crafted.

Our new single, ‘Science Fair’ is out today with a new video directed by Bart Price.

The post-punk scene has been nothing but great so far… Idles, Shame, Black Midi, Sorry, Fontaines D.C, Protomartyr, Iceage, Parquet Courts, Guerrilla Toss, SQUID, Shopping, Viagra Boys, Ought… and now Black Country New Road ..2021 is going to be a great year

After just two singles they were declared “the best band in the world” by The Quietus, with glowing reviews from The New York Times, NPR, and The Guardian. Debut album, ‘For the First Time’ is due on 5th February 2021. Black Country New Road is Lewis Evans (saxophonist), May Kershaw (keys), Charlie Wayne (drums), Luke Mark (guitar), Isaac Wood (vocals/guitar), Tyler Hyde (bass) and Georgia Ellery (violin)

Taken from the album ‘For the first time’, To be released 5th February on Ninja Tune: