Share new single, ‘Where Nothing Can Be Defined’
Taken from forthcoming album, Light In Your Mind
out 25th August 2017 on Tough Love Records
Release Show At London’s Thousand Island on 31st August
CYMBALS — the London-based duo of Jack Cleverly and Dan Simons — today shared “Where Nothing Can Be Defined,” the latest single from their second album, Light In Your Mind, out August 25th, 2017 via Tough Love Records.
Jack Cleverly, one half of CYMBALS, says of the song: “The song was written on an acoustic guitar, very quietly, at night. Dan added layers of synths and arpegiators over the top of my iPhone demo, and then Josh Heffernan created the drum beat, which to us is a classic beat, but we knew we needed it for this song.
“At the time I had the idea for the song, I was doing something I had got into, which was to flip a sunset sky in my mind upside-down and backwards, so the clouds look like islands in a vast sea. I can now see that at that time I was also trying to escape in my mind. And a sea, in a sky, was an image that carried me a long way.”
“Where Nothing Can Be Defined” follows previous singles “Car Crash”, and “Decay” (via The FADER) and its Matthew Reed-directed video shot during the winter months in a number of British seaside towns. The band will also play a special album release show at London’s Thousand Island on 31st August.
Light In Your Mind is the first new material from CYMBALS in two years, and their first album since January 2014. If the wait seems long for the listener, for those involved in its creation the time in between pulls in a lifetime of unexpected experiences. That Light In Your Mind even exists is a testament to not giving in.
Since inception, CYMBALS’ line up has been subject to a great deal of change. Amidst that change there has always existed the songwriting duo of Cleverly and Simons, who formed the band in 2011 with the sole intention of “having fun”. At various points over the last six years and across three albums, an EP and single, a rotating cast of at least ten other people have formed some version of CYMBALS. It wasn’t until everything else was stripped away and all others had left that the two finally began to be what they first tried to be.
Others still contributed to Light In Your Mind – Justin Goings and Josh Hefferman both provide drums, while Alabaster DePlume plays saxophone on “Fully Automated Luxury.” Producer Kristian Robinson (Capitol K) is a major presence across the album and played a key role in guiding the transition from the band’s sound on their previous record to this one (indeed, this was the first time the band spent any significant time in a studio). Jorge Elbrecht, whose work with Ariel Pink and Tamaryn had inspired the band, mixed the record in Miami, adding those elusive final touches that make it CYMBALS’ best album to date.
Cleverly explains, “When the band cut down to just me and Dan, and we stopped trying to find more people, I remember that it was scary at the time, and we didn’t know if we would keep going. We agreed to a few rehearsals together and see where it went. We had a great surprise: it felt great, the writing was easy. It was if together we gave up trying to be anything other than what we are. We cut any bullsh*t between the two of us and talked honestly about the last few years. We found that when we started writing together, we were going faster towards the feeling that had given rise to CYMBALS in the first place.”
The ‘bullsh*t’ that Cleverly refers to was hardly trivial. Failing relationships, betrayal, addiction, illness: the emotional challenges were huge. Thankfully, they were not insurmountable, and as with so much creative practice, it was through the music itself that a wider understanding of the world was found.
Light In Your Mind features 11 eclectic original songs, ranging from melodically memorable pop (“Car Crash,” “Talk To Me”), bucolic instrumentals (“My Body,” “Numbers”) and longer, pensive songs that explore the space in between (“ASMR,” “I Thought I Knew You”). “Fully Automated Luxury,” the sole song fully written by Dan Simons, is minimal and soulful, accompanied by strings, harmonies, and a beat akin to Rhye.
Cleverly recognizes the unexpected contrasts best when commenting on the name of the album: “The title Light In Your Mind comes from the song “Where Nothing Can Be Defined.” The idea of not being able to name what’s happening is kind of a cop out, but it’s about grasping at something within when that thing within is not a clear light or dark.”
Cleverly elaborates, “In this title I see the image of a guy escaping an imaginary world. But the Light In Your Mind is that there is nothing to escape. In the constant decline, there is always revival.”
As final track “Lifetime Achievement Award” concludes, a synth loop first heard on the opening track is subtly re-introduced, completing a circle of sorts. Like decay, the album never really ends. And like CYMBALS, at the end it’s born anew again, stronger than before.
31st August – London, UK @ Thousand Island
Previous praise for debut album, The Age of Fracture:
“Guitar-flecked electro at its most hypnotic and sublime” – The Sunday Times
“Unfettered adrenalin rush” – MOJO (4/5)
“Fun with a capital ‘F’, but there are moments of gravitas too. Not easy to do that” – NME (8/10)
“‘The Age of Fracture’ ends with the long walk home and the stark, wiry isolation of instrumental ‘Call Me’. It makes sense – everything has been said.” – DIY (4/5)
“On The Age of Fracture, they’ve settled down and drawn out a solemn groove, furthering a sound indebted to bands like New Order and Depeche Mode, acts who sensed that sometimes the best way to solve an existential crisis was to leave it all on the dancefloor.” – Pitchfork
2. Car Crash
3. Talk To Me
4. I Thought I Knew You
5. My Body (Winter Mix)
6. Where Nothing Can Be Defined
8. Euphoric Recall
10. Fully Automated Luxury
11. Lifetime Achievement Award