Announce Second Album ‘O Monolith’
Out 9th June via Warp Records
Watch The Video To Lead Single ‘Swing (In A Dream)’
New 2023 Tour Dates Announced Including London’s TROXY
Squid announce their second album, O Monolith, out June 9th via Warp Records, and present their lead single and video, ‘Swing (In A Dream)’.
Over the course of the last couple of years, and with their top 5 charting debut Bright Green Field, Squid have established themselves as one of the most innovative new bands from the UK, live and on record, “eschewing individual showmanship in favour of scorching collective peaks” (Pitchfork). New album O Monolithhas been produced by long-time collaborator, Dan Carey, and mixed by John McEntire (of Tortoise), O Monolithteems with melodic epiphanies and is a musical evocation of environment, domesticity and self-made folklore. Like its predecessor, it is dense and tricksy – but also more warm, with a winding, questioning nature. A sense of open conversation is cultivated: this is unmistakably music made by friends.
The return of Squid would not be complete without a run of live dates to give fans the opportunity to catch them at their raw best. Having sold out their underplay at Scala in a matter of minutes, Squid are announcing their most ambitious tour so far, taking in their largest ever headline shows including Troxy in London. Fans who pre-order the album by midday on Mon 13 February via the band’s website will get first access to tickets to their UK headline tour. General sale begins 16th February at 10am, pre-order here.
Squid proves they’ve still got so much to say, capturing the immense energy through the new single, “Swing (In A Dream)” cementing Squid’s ability to create such a complex and adventurous exploration from this outfit. Squid are continuously pushing their own boundaries by creating such expressive and almighty landscapes, filled with countless hooks, tweaks, and textures. Layering their attributes to create something with such an infectious appeal. Squid lull you into this false sense of security and their madness just mesmerizes you. Their renowned complex tone shines instantly against the rolling and attentive drum beats and rhythms that fiercely dominate the soundscape, never once shying into the background but always consistently continuing the compelling drive.
“Swing (In A Dream)” , which premiered on Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 6 show, is a compelling first glimpse of this new phase of Squid. Beginning with an airy, cascading synth line and electronic, percussive stabs, the verse grows over singer Ollie Judge’s most melodic vocal to date. At times a tense listen, “Swing (In A Dream)” is full of bold, explosive moments that build on intricate details into a claustrophobic climax.
On the new single, singer and drummer Ollie Judge explains: “This was inspired by a dream I 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.”
The single arrives alongside a superbly absurd, Where’s Wally style video featuring friends and family of the band. Director Yoonha Park on the ‘Swing (In a Dream)’ video: “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.”
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,” 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 and vocal ensemble Shards.
Expansive, evocative and hugely varied, O Monolith retains Squid’s restless, enigmatic spirit. It’s a reflection of the outsized progression of a band always looking to the future. “We’re quite a musically stubborn band, and in an endearing way it’s a stubborn record,” says Judge. Like its namesake, O Monolith is vast and strange; alive with endless possible interpretations of its inner mysteries.
Swing (In A Dream)
After The Flash
If You Had Seen The Bull’s Swimming Attempts You Would Have Stayed Away
Squid also announce tour dates, find those here-
Squid 2023 Tour Dates
05.05 – Focus Wales, Wrexham, Wales
18.06 – Beyond The Pale, Wicklow, Ireland
30.06 – Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium
02.07 – Fusion, Larz, Germany
21.07 – Standon Calling, Hertfordshire, UK
22.07 – Truck Festival, Oxfordshire, UK
16.08 – Paredes De Coura, Portugal
18.08 – Green Man, Brecon, Wales
02.09 – Into The Great Wide Open, Vlieland, Netherlands
13.10 – SWX, Bristol, UK
14.10 – SWX, Bristol, UK
16.10 – Town Hall, Birmingham, UK
17.10 – O2 Academy Leeds, Leeds, UK
18.10 – New Century, Manchester, UK
21.10 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, UK
22.10 – Boiler Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
01.11 – Troxy, London, UK