Posts Tagged ‘Idles’

Sharon Van Etten’s career since the release of her second album, 2010’s epic is well-known; critically lauded albums, films, and television shows have continually displayed her expanding artistry. Upon its release, epic laid a romantic melancholy over the gravel and dirt of heartbreak without one honest thought or feeling spared. Her songs covered betrayal, obsession, egotism, and all the other emotions we dislike in others and recognize in ourselves. Van Etten’s grounded and clenched vocals conveyed a sense of hope–the notion that beauty can arise from the worst of circumstances.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this special album’s release, and to acknowledge the convergence of Van Etten’s present and past work, she asked fellow artists she admired to participate in an expanded reissue, where each artist would cover one different song from epic in their own style. Some are musicians Van Etten herself admired in her early days (Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, and Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon of Big Red Machine), some are peers (Courtney Barnett, IDLES), and others are part of a younger generation of innovators (Shamir, St. Panther). What they all share is embodied by epic–a musician frankly communicating them-self through the power of music.


The resulting epic Ten is a double LP featuring the original album plus the new album of epic covers and reimagined artwork.

Released April 16th, 2021

Of all the new music I heard during the height of the initial lockdown. ‘Ultra Mono’ was an album that I was already extremely excited to hear; and the stream of songs released during Lockdown only served to raise that excitement to a fever pitch.

Thankfully IDLES didn’t disappoint and when the album arrived it was a pure masterpiece. It shows a natural progression on the bands first two records and grows the bands sound. It still captures what made us all fall in love with the band but by incorporating new elements into the bands sound the album shows that IDLES are no one trick pony.

Above all other releases this year and those that feature in this list, this was the album that we needed this year. In a year where we have all been knocked down one way or another, IDLES and ‘Ultra Mono’ has been a call to arms, to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and keep going.”

IDLES third LP, Ultra Mono, was released earlier this year to critical acclaim. The video for “Kill Them With Kindness” was directed and designed by James Carbutt and animated by Pip Williamson, inspired by the working men’s clubs of Barnsley. Brutal guitar work flips between Bowen and Kiernan on a Travis Bean and Esquire respectively, revealing again why they’re the two most important players in the UK today.

Another single from the Bristolian band’s acclaimed third LP on Partisan Records, it begins with a monstrous bass riff that twists around the snare drum, before bellowing into the chorus with pulsating, glistening guitars and the odd bit of ring-modulator thrown in for good measure.


The Bristol, U.K. punk outfit are releasing their third studio album Ultra Mono this last year. IDLES recorded Ultra Mono in Paris, working with producers Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire), Adam “Atom” Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy) and Kenny Beats (FKA Twigs, DeBaby, Vince Staples). Per a press release, “‘Ultra Mono’ was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record.” The album also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow and Jamie Cullum.

In 2020 there were certainties: third IDLES album, third time among the best fifty of the year. On Ultra Mono we hear a sharper and smoother IDLES than before. A band that takes steps to keep developing its sound, which takes a hip-hop producer under its arm, once worked its crown with the cracks and moments later comes across songs like “Grounds” or “Reigns”. The British are going to be wonderfully retamful about this drive for innovation and the ability to remain fully IDLES. (Post)punk has its heyday again, and part of the answer to the question shines on the chest of the Bristol fivesome.  Ultra Mono also includes a lot of discs that live on a swirling, roaring mass, while a band has the mob on a raise.

The new project of Slaves guitarist Laurie Vincent and producer Jolyon Thomas, Larry Pink The Human’s latest single is an explosive synth-pop track featuring vocals from IDLES frontman Joe Talbot. The duo describe their fourth single of 2020 as “a contemplative look at missing the beauty in the everyday,” while Talbot adds, “It’s a track about not knowing the magic ‘til the magic is behind us.” The song itself, however, is more likely to help you lose yourself than find the present moment: The verses combine Talbot’s reserved musings with a calming synth hum, but the choruses throttle up into a cathartic thump that simply rules out sitting still. 

‘Wasted Days [Inbetweens]’ follows recent single ‘Might Delete Later’ and debut track ‘Love You, Bye’. back in April, and they spoke of the emotional openness that defines the new band. “It’s about putting your deepest, darkest feelings on a plate, as simply or as complicated as you want to,” Vincent said.

LARRY PINK THE HUMAN added: ‘Wasted Days [Inbetweens]’ is a contemplative look at missing the beauty in the everyday. In the rush to reach our destinations how we can often lose sight of the joy in our journeys. An awakening. Doing nothing at all is something very special.”

Following Brutalism (2017) and Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), two releases that garnered global critical acclaim, IDLES return with their highly anticipated third album – “Ultra Mono”. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (including production contribution from Kenny Beats), the album doubles down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work. Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses. This is momentary acceptance of the self. This is Ultra Mono.

Since their 2017 debut Brutalism, British punks IDLES have seemed like a band on a mission. Release a record, tour hard, write more songs, make another album, do it all again. Their new record Ultra Mono is their third in four years, which is impressive when you see the band’s immense pre-pandemic touring schedule. “We never stop writing,” says frontman Joe Talbot,

The band have a method for writing an album that goes well beyond standing in a room and playing. They are organised and focused, which ensures their records remain centred on a theme. “With every album, we start with the title – and artwork normally comes to mind – with a theme around it, and then I kind of build the idea around the album,” Talbot says. “Then we start writing the songs specifically to those ideas, with the idea that if we’ve got boundaries, we can all work within them and work together better, because we’re very different people.

“It’s important for us to understand each other moving forward, because we write democratically. We don’t want it to be some sort of autocracy. We all pitch in.m This time around, Talbot wanted to write about internal struggles. The frontman admits to struggling with certain sides of fame, notably the understanding that his work will now be noticed by more people than ever. Such a profile comes with pressure, and feelings that threaten to inhibit creativity. “I was going through a lot of self-doubt around writing,” he says. “There’s a lot of eyes and ears on us, way more than before Joy… [2018 album Joy Is An Act of Resistance] came out.

“So, I just wanted to focus on that idea of self-awareness as a way of progress and understanding what self-care really meant.” So, Ultra Mono became a record about accepting yourself for who and what you are.

KEXP.ORG presents IDLES sharing songs recorded exclusively for KEXP and talking with Kevin Cole. Recorded Thursday, October 1st, 2020.
Model Village
Mr. Motivator


Ultra Mono will be released on 25th September 2020 on Partisan Records.

Released September 25th, 2020

Idles are precious and highly reflective of all that’s happening around them and what their role in it is. They are all that in a way few other bands are. “Ultra Mono” as an album though is, if you are familiar with them already, not what the cover image tries to imply: Too seldomly it comes as a surprise. It doesn’t hit just the right spots to make your aching feel worthy. But it still is a powerful, lively statement of one of the most important rock bands of our time. I’m sure we’ll be reminded of that once they return to stage and channel their irressistible, very contemporary complex of politics, decay, love and anger. You just might have to dig a little deeper for it on Ultra Mono.

IDLES found themselves in the middle of a feud again with Fat White Family (following a similar one with Sleaford Mods last year). The short version of this ridiculous rambling is that people constantly seem to deny the band’s status to represent the British working class. It’s the old tale of the left eating itself as if there’s a fixed universal rule that defines who should speak for the poor and needy. I don’t get the point of this beef. I don’t get why they don’t join forces and fight the real evil here. Once Boris Johnson’s Corona and Brexit politics have done the damage the British working class will have bigger problems than asking about the right representation.

Idles, however, answered with what they are best at: humility. Kill Them With Kindness is a track on their new album and that sums up the band’s spirit pretty well. In order to fight the evil, just be nice and kind to each other. It’s a simple yet efficient technique. You dismantle the troll by not following him onto his low level. You react with positivity that might confuse him. In the end hate fuels such people and if you cut them off their energy source and simply stay calm you take a huge amount of ammunition away from them. “Let’s seize the day, all hold hands, chase the pricks away” is the line Idles keep on repeating in their single Mr. Motivator and it’s a fitting credo. The fact that these guys transport their messages of love, feminism and against toxic masculinity in a very aggressive way might sound confusing for many but I think it’s a great method to channel these emotions. Yes, you have the right to be pissed off by these idiotic trolls but don’t address the direct anger towards them – let the music be your outlet. Killing people with kindness is easier said than done.

It’s a tough thing to do. It’s an active choice you make and something you have to remind yourself of every day. Like I said last week – the system didn’t train us to have faith in each other and modern communication tools like Facebook and Twitter want us to compete against each other if we want to get heard. In order to fix this fucked up thing called society we have to rise above that concept because the only realistic way of changing the entire damn construct is to fix the individual parts that make it up and that’s – surprise – us, the people. It’s not easy, I can tell from experience. Overcoming passive cynicism is the first step, learning to trust, communicate and not being afraid to do so is the next step and right now I’m in the middle of that. There are many days where life and our current society make it hard to not fall for the communication patterns of the troll. It takes discipline, patience and most importantly people around you that will support this attitude because – to quote The National – it takes an ocean not to break. 

Idles new album ‘ULTRA MONO’ out now on Partisan Records.

Following Brutalism (2017) and Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), two releases that garnered global critical acclaim, IDLES return with their highly anticipated third album – “Ultra Mono”. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (including production contribution from Kenny Beats), the album doubles down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work. Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses. This is momentary acceptance of the self. This is Ultra Mono.

‘A HYMN’ from the new album Ultra Mono”  released on 25th September 2020 on Partisan Records.

‘GROUNDS’ from the new album ‘ULTRA MONO’ released on 25th September 2020 on Partisan Records


IDLES return with their highly anticipated third album – Ultra Mono. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (including production contribution from Kenny Beats), the album doubles down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work.

“Ultra Mono” is the acceptance of now and I and you. We are not the same but behold something together that is true: the moment. I can not control anything but my ideas, my actions and my emotions, I can not control yours. In allowing our art to be momentary, we give ourselves and you the opportunity to perceive who we all are now as truth. It is an engine of all that we can’t control: our race, our age, our class and our past in the form of what we control absolutely – our music, our now.

Joy is still an act of resistance. No more apologies. We will work hard and work honestly. Ultra Mono is joy’s engine and it goes. Well that’s a bit of good news eh? Joe Talbot & his band of merry men are once again back to put the world to rights. ‘Ultra Mono’ is their first album since the brain meltingly good ‘Joy As An Act of Resistance’ – we’re a little bit excited. There are 2 gorgeous versions too – the vortex swirl will look lush spinning on your turntable but we’re particularly taken by the look of the deluxe version with the ‘ultra mono’ catalogue – it looks like it’s going to be rather lovely.

Act fast enough and you can snag a limited print too – an abstract take on the album cover, perfect for framing. far be it for us to tell you what to do, but we’d advise you get your orders in sharpish for the vortex and deluxe editions even if you miss the print – the last two had tasty limited fancy versions that went very fast.

We hope that you feel a sense of strength and purpose from listening to Ultra Mono. It is meant to fill you with the violence love and the rhythm of now. You are now. You are all. All is love.” – Joe Talbot

IDLES – “Ultra Mono” Out September 25th Partisan Records.

Though taken from the sessions for their record, “Joy as an Act of Resistance”, this song from Idles feels distant from the more hopeful messages of the band’s acclaimed 2018 record. After ramping up with chugging, distorted bass lines, frontman Joe Talbot declares in his signature gravelly tones, “Forgive my crippled head / Our revolution’s dead.” Despite the power and fury dripping from every word, the song feels like the aural equivalent of a tiger pacing around the trapping pit in which it’s fallen.

“Mercedes Marxist” is out as 7-inch backed by “I Dream Guillotine” . Ahead of their sold-out US tour Idles “Mercedes Marxist” – pulled from the sessions for their latest LP ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance.’ Frontman Joe Talbot says: “‘Mercedes Marxist’ was a strange beast for us, after ‘Rottweiler,’ it was the first song we wrote for ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance.’ I was pissed off at what I was and where I was: I was sofa surfing on the weekends and spending the weeks looking after my mum. My life balance was way off and this song reflects just how useless I felt. It was me at my worst and without any buoyancy it became catharsis. It was the last splurge from Brutalism so we omitted it. I like it now.”

‘Mercedes Marxist’ released on Partisan Records

Not content with performing one of Glastonbury 2019’s standout, most poignant sets, or being nominated for a Mercury Prize, or picking up BBC6 Music Recommends’ Album of the Year for 2018’s ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’, IDLES are striking while the iron’s hot with a follow-up.

Album No 3 is being readied for release right now, with the group announcing on Instagram “Album 3  back in September, before confirming to Zane Lowe that it’s been produced by Nick Launay (Grinderman, Nick Cave), Adam “Atom” Greenspan and Kenny Beats. The latter said: “Idles are the best band in the whole world. This is all I wanna work on. I love what they’re doing.”

Idles have announced that their highly anticipated third album is entitled “Ultra Mono” and will be released on September 25th via Partisan Records. Along with the announcement comes the release of the new single “Grounds,” as well as its music video. It follows the previously released “Mr Motivator”.  Ultra Mono was recorded in Paris and produced by Nick Launay and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan, along with additional programming by Kenny Beats, with the album sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record. The album also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum.

“Grounds” features a more electronic element at play that marches alongside the more familiar hard-hitting rock elements that only they can produce in quite this fashion. The electronic element changes things up enough but feels like the next logical evolution for the band.

IDLES’ Joe Talbot says of “Grounds”: “We wanted to write a song that embodied self-belief, and gave us self-belief – a counter-punch to all the doubt we build up from all the noise we so easily let in. We wanted to make the sound of our own hearts’ marching band, armed with a jack hammer and a smile. We wanted to make the sound of our engine starting. So we did. Thank you.”

IDLES – ” Mr Motivator “

Posted: May 27, 2020 in MUSIC
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Image may contain: text that says 'MR MOTIVATOR NEW SINGLE OUT NOW'

IDLES have returned with their brand new single “Mr. Motivator,” the first taste of their highly anticipated third album that will be released later this year via Partisan Records. It’s another pummeling rocker that features the amped up and hyper-aware social commentary from vocalist Joe Talbot. The instrumentation is fierce but the production allows each member a chance to shine. The song’s title and subject matter is one that is certainly timely and relevant – as you’d come to expect from these guys by now.

The track is a battering ram of positivity that’s also the first preview of their highly anticipated third LP due out later this year.  The song doubles down on the (self-admitted) sloganeering and social commentary that’s become the band’s signature, yet here more than ever they’re able to take clichés and turn them into music that’s deeply complex and brutally relevant.

Beautifully poignant, IDLES have captured the spirit of humanity despite being in lockdown.  The video for ‘Mr. Motivator’ is comprised of numerous home-made workout clips filmed by fans of the post-punk band. Frontman Joe Talbot had this to say about the song:

  • “We want to start this journey with a means to not only encapsulate the album’s sentiment but to encourage our audience to dance like no one is watching and plough through these dark times with a two-tonne machete of a song and the most beautiful community of scumbags ever assembled.  Let’s go.  All is love.”

Idles followed up their acclaimed second album, “Joy as an Act of Resistance”, with 2019 single ‘Mercedes Marxist’ and its subsequent B-side ‘I Dream Guillotine’.

The single’s release features a brand new music video is self-directed and features fan-sourced exercise footage and the bandmembers themselves.