Squid Announce New LP O Monolith
Squid are releasing their new album O Monolith, on June 9th via Warp Records. Today, the band are sharing lead single/video, “Swing (In A Dream).” Produced by long-time collaborator, Dan Carey, and mixed by John McEntire (of Tortoise).
Squid began work on O Monolith only two weeks after the release of Bright Green Field while the band were on tour in 2021. “Without that tour we wouldn’t have any of these tracks,” says Judge, of the fully seated, socially-distanced shows that allowed them to test out work-in-progress music. “People were so looking forward to seeing live music that we thought we could just play anything, even if it was unfinished. In some form or another we played about 80% of O Monolith, mostly without lyrics.” The songs continued to come together in rehearsal rooms around Bristol, where the band were based at the time, eventually moving to Peter Gabriel’s luxe Real World studios in Wiltshire. This change in environment further pushed the development of the band’s sound from claustrophobic post-punk to something more free-flowing and spacious.
The environment around the studio also had a palpable influence. Although originating in Brighton and now largely based in South London, every member of the band has a strong connection with the West Country, which only deepened during the recording process. One interpretation of O Monolith is a condensation of the environment into song. “There’s a running theme of the relation of people to the environment throughout,” says Borlase. “There are allusions to the world we became so immersed in, environmental emergency, the role of domesticity, and the displacement you feel when you’re away for a long time.” Elements of British folk music quite naturally found their way onto some songs, including field recordings from the area around the studio. Contributors include Martha Skye Murphy, following her appearance on Bright Green Field’s “Narrator,” and Roger Bolton, who maintains the Fairlight samplers known for their pioneering use by Kate Bush, “adding an important distinctive color in the record,” per Leadbetter.
Today’s single “Swing (In A Dream)” was inspired by a dream Judge had about a painting called The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. “In my dream, I was in the painting but it was flooded and everything was floating away,” he explains. The song is full of bold moments that build on intricate details into an explosive climax. Beginning with an airy, cascading synth line and electronic, percussive stabs, the verse grows over Judge’s most melodic vocal to date. The accompanying video, directed by Yoonha Park, is an absurd take on Where’s Waldo? featuring friends and family of the band. “I was interested in exploring visual ideas from Where’s Waldo, Richard Scarry and Brueghel as a means to express anxieties about the climate crisis,” says Park.
1. Swing (In A Dream)
2. Devil’s Den
3. Siphon Song
5. The Blades
6. After The Flash
7. Green Light
8. If You Had Seen The Bull’s Swimming Attempts You Would Have Stayed Away
Squid 2023 Tour Dates
Fri. May 5 – Wrexhman, WS @ Focus Wales
Sun. June 18 – Wicklow, IE @ Beyond The Pale
Fri. June 30 – Werchter, BE @ Rock Werchter
Sun. July 2 – Lars, DE @ Fusion
Fri. July 21 – Hertfordshire, UK @ Standon Calling
Sat. July 22 – Oxfordshire, UK @ Truck Festival
Wed. Aug. 16 – Portugal, ES @ Paredes De Coura
Fri. Aug. 18 – Brecon, WS @ Green Man
Sat. Sep. 2 – Vlieland, NL @ Into The Great Wide Open
Fri. Oct. 13 – Bristol, UK @ SWX
Sat. Oct. 14 – Bristol, UK @ SWX
Mon. Oct. 16 – Birmingham, UK @ Town Hall
Tue. Oct. 17 – Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy Leeds
Thu. Oct. 19 – Manchester, UK @ New Century
Sat. Oct. 21 – Glasgow, UK @ Barrowland Ballroom
Sun. Oct. 22 – Newcastle, UK @ Boiler Shop
Wed. Nov. 1 – London, UK @ Troxy
Pre-order O Monolith by Squid HERE
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