Posts Tagged ‘Ultra Mono’

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.
Songs:
Model Village
Mr. Motivator
War
Grounds

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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

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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.

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.”