Methyl Ethel, has announced his new album, Are You Haunted?, will drop on February 18th on Future Classic. The nine-track album features today’s new single, “Proof” featuring Stella Donnelly.
“Proof” is the first ever Methyl Ethel song to feature an additional singer: in this case, fellow Western Australian art-pop stalwart and one-time Methyl Ethel guitarist, Stella Donnelly. It’s “a song about truth and movies,” offers Webb, a meditation on what constitutes reality in the post-Trump, post-climate-crisis, post-COVID era, in which science and fiercely-guarded fantasy go head-to-head in the realm of public discourse. But where other Methyl Ethel songs might lean into the blurriness of life and belief, “Proof” struts along as a glittery, funk-infused polemic against nonsense. Webb and Donnelly, tongues-in-cheek, daring the listener to “take a chance on proof (if you want to).”
The collaboration feels natural, almost inevitable. “Stella is one of the most truth-telling artists I’ve ever heard,” comments Webb. “It made for a perfect match.” Donnelly continues, “Working on ‘Proof’ with Jake felt like being invited to the set of your favourite movie, such an insightful and wonderful experience.”
The “Proof” video directed by Webb, is a playful, monochromatic affair that takes cues from German Expressionist film and explores the symbolism of black-and-white thinking and the fluidity of “truth” as a concept.
“There are these spirits, memories of our old selves, our younger selves, parents,” he notes, “generations past whose deeds, actions, successes and failures shape us. We all have these ghosts that linger in our present predicaments.” Methyl Ethel has never shied away from themes of memories that overstay their welcome, nightmares or preoccupations that linger in the psyche. But with Webb’s latest longplayer, a more direct and poignant interpretation of haunting takes center stage: themes of mortality, irretrievable time and heavy presences suffuse the album’s nine tracks. Themes that might make for a somber listen if it wasn’t for Webb’s knack for exhilarating arrangements, addicting hooks, curious textures and propulsive, syncopated rhythms; elements that add up to a joyous, giddy listen, even if there’s threads of melancholy and anxiety woven through.
To create Are You Haunted?, Webb returned to the studio where he recorded and wrote the first songs for Methyl Ethel. He explains, “A dear friend of mine recently passed away, the studio is his. I spent many years of experimentation with him, learning so much looking over his shoulder. It feels special to continue to share the space with his ghost, I’m still learning from him.”
Are You Haunted?
3. Something To Worry About
4. Neon Cheap
5. Kids on Holiday
6. One and Beat
8. Castigat Ridendo Mores
9. In a Minute, Sublime
2022 Tour Dates
Fri. Feb. 25 – Perth, AU @ Perth Festival
Sat. Mar. 26 – Bambra, AU @ Meadow Music Festival
Thu. Apr. 21 – Brisbane, AU @ Fortitude Music Hall
Fri. Apr. 22 – Sydney, AU @ Roundhouse
Wed. Apr. 27 – Melbourne, AU @ The Night Cat
Thu. Apr. 28 – Melbourne, AU @ The Night Cat
Fri. Apr. 29 – Melbourne, AU @ The Night Cat
Sat. Jul. 23 – Byron Bay, AU @ Splendour in the Grass
Pre-order Are You Haunted? by Methyl Ethel HERE