Squid release their new album, O Monolith, on June 9th via via Warp. Ahead of the album's arrival, the UK act have shared album track, "The Blades," along with a nusic video directed by Kasper HĂ¤ggstrĂ¶m (Radiohead, Kelly Lee Owens, LindstrĂ¸m), which features British actress Charlotte Ritchie (You, Fresh Meat, Ghosts).
Similarly to Squid, HĂ¤ggstrĂ¶m's work blurs the lines between high-concept philosophies and the humdrum of domesticity. His video for "The Blades" sees its protagonist, played by Ritchie, locked in a Kafka-esque nightmare as she sits ludicrously at the back of an imaginary queue in an empty waiting room due to a mischievous child's prank. The passage of time and cruel absurdity of the situation triggers an out of body experience and release before returning to her Sisyphean plight.
Produced by Dan Carey, mixed by John McEntire (Tortoise) and recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios, O Monolith tackles themes and issues such as environmental peril, morality and English folklore. It is expansive, evocative and hugely varied, retaining Squid's restless, enigmatic spirit, and 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.
Judge credits "The Blades" as his favorite Squid song thus far. "It's a lot more vulnerable than stuff we've previously done, which can be quite a daunting thing. Dan Carey and I were talking about vocal delivery and how it would be good to not completely let myself go, and not fall back on shouting because it's more instantly gratifying. The end of the song is really soft and tender and I don't think we've done something like that before," comments Judge. "On the surface it's a song about police brutality with the last section kind of inspired by The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, although I've never read the book, I've just seen The Simpsons' spoof of it. Narratively it follows a police helicopter pilot's day, ending with him in bed hearing another pilot circling the skies as if he were taunting him. There's a deeper meaning in there somewhere of my fear of ego, but I'm still working out which bit of the song that's coming from."
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