Squid Announce New Album, “O Monolith”
Squid, the British five-piece band consisting of Louis Borlase, Ollie Judge, Arthur Leadbetter, Laurie Nankivell, and Anton Pearson, is back with their second album, O Monolith, which is out on June 9th, 2023, via Warp Records.
Their debut album, Bright Green Field, established them as one of the most innovative new bands from the UK, both live and on record, with Pitchfork praising their collective peaks over individual showmanship.
The new album, produced by long-time collaborator Dan Carey (Wet Leg, Foals) and mixed by John McEntire of Tortoise, is packed with melodic moments and is a musical representation of the environment, domesticity, and self-made folklore. Like their first album, it’s complex but with a warmer and more questioning nature. “Squid’s members display a refreshing lack of hierarchy. Everyone’s crucial to the impactful sound,” according to Seattle’s The Stranger.
The band started work on O Monolith just two weeks after the release of Bright Green Field while on tour in 2021. The socially-distanced shows allowed them to test out new music and the songs continued to take shape in Bristol rehearsal rooms and eventually at Peter Gabriel‘s Real World Studios in Wiltshire. This change of environment led to a transformation of their sound from post-punk to something more free-flowing and spacious.
Every member of Squid has a strong connection to the West Country, which only strengthened during the recording process, and the environment around the studio had a big impact on the album. “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.” The album also features elements of British folk music and contributions from Martha Skye Murphy and Roger Bolton.
The lead single “Swing (In A Dream)” was inspired by a dream Judge had about a painting called “The Swing” by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. The song builds from an airy synth line and electronic percussive stabs to an explosive climax. The video, directed by Yoonha Park (Washed Out, M83), is an absurd take on “Where’s Waldo?” featuring friends and family of the band.
Watch Squid’s “Swing (In A Dream)” below
O Monolith is a reflection of Squid’s progression; a vast and strange album alive with endless interpretations of its inner mysteries. “We’re quite a musically stubborn band, and in an endearing way it’s a stubborn record,” says Judge.
For more information on Squid, order your copy of O Monolith, or to see any of their upcoming tour dates, visit their website here.