Childhood recently announced the release of their album Universal High via Marathon Artists on July 21st. The London band have shared a video for lead single “Californian Light.” Childhood’s Ben Romans-Hopscraft explains “ironically, the sentiment of ‘Californian Light,’ has nothing to do with the sunshine state at all. It was written as an ode to my relationships that define me as a person in London.”
Recorded at Maze Studios, Atlanta across the summer of 2016 where the band decamped for a month, it was produced by the legendary Ben H Allen III (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, Deerhunter) who struck up quite the creative partnership with ringleader Ben Romans-Hopscraft. You could be forgiven for branding Universal High a rebirth. In places almost unrecognizable from the dub-charged psychedelic indie of their debut, the new sound swells from the southern streets in which it came to life, caked in the Seventies soul of The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield and Shuggie Otis.
Ben Romans-Hopcraft says, “Universal High represents many things to us as a band. It signifies change, both musically and mentally whilst also revisiting influences that confounded our interest in music in the first place. What I think is noticeable is the direct nature of the songs and its influences. Being surrounded by soul music, classic pop songs and music with any form of groove all my life, these influences began to speak for themselves within these new songs we were writing”.
Since the first album Bens evolved into something of an auteur, with numerous collaborations under his belt as both a producer, recurrently alongside new regular comrade Sean Lennon, as well as numerous teamings with Fat White Family’s Saul Aamczeski as part of both Warmduscher and Insecure Men.
The campaigns visuals were all styled by acclaimed designer Grace Wales-Bonner, and the video to first single “Californian Light” chimes the album’s aesthetic in visceral 3-D form, based around Ben and director Georgio Barbers formative years growing up within five minutes of each other in South London. “Californian Light” attempts to explore their nostalgia in its choice of location amidst the market-lined streets of the capitals East Street, encapsulating what it was like growing up with its bustling atmosphere and fading architecture.
The band are playing the below festival dates including a free underplay show for fans in London. North American dates to follow soon.
July 21, 2017
2. Californian Light
Too Old for My Tears
4. Melody Says
5. Universal High
7. Don’t Have Me Back
8. Nothing Ever Seems Right
April 28: Nantes L’Ere de Rien Festival, France
29th April – Live at Leeds
30th April – Stag & Dagger Festival, Glasgow
2nd May – Free South London Show (Venue TBA)
19th May – The Great Escape, East Wing, Brighton
19th May – The Great Escape, Horatio’s, Brighton
27th May – Amsterdam London Calling, Netherlands
4th June – The Ritz, Manchester supporting Whitney
16th July – Latitude Festival, Southwold
22nd July – Hyeres Midi Festival 2017, France
1st to 5th November – Reykjavik Iceland Airwaves Iceland