London’s favourite gang of art-rockers Black Country, New Road, have returned with the latest taste of their upcoming LP Ants From Up Here, ‘Concorde’.
It’s terribly exciting when an act takes a complete left turn, stylistically and aesthetically. The band’s debut LP For the First Time was an elastic jazz-rock freak out that liberally mixed in distortion, synth washes, and hard-edged post-punk. But so far, the tracks from Ants From Up Here, including ‘Concorde’, ‘Bread Song’, and ‘Chaos Space Marine’, have shown off a more deliberate and delicate side to the band.
‘Concorde’ has a little bit of distortion and some loopy time signature work that fits the previous mould, but both are remarkably toned down as the band seem eager to explore a softer, more refined side to themselves, incorporating elements of folk, indie rock, and even country music. There’s definitely a banjo in the arrangement for ‘Concorde’, as subtle as it may be, and the horn lines that waft in among the twinkling pianos and gentle guitar strums solidify that BC, NR are fully committed to their more pastoral side on their new album.
It would be stranger if they weren’t so successful at it. When For the First Time was released, I was sure that I had the band pegged within the same sonic realm of Squid or Black Midi, but their turn towards more conventional sounds and arrangements actually serves to let them stand out even more. Maybe the more delicate tones are just a diversion, and Ants From Up Here is just as dense and challenging as their debut. But now I’ve gotten settled into the calmer, quieter BC, NR, and I want to hear more.
We’ll find out for ourselves soon enough, as Ants From Up Here will be released early in 2022. With the new single also comes the announcement of a series of additional tour dates for 2022 in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Check out the audio for ‘Concorde’, plus the band’s 2022 tour dates, down below. Ants From Up Here is set to be released on February 4th.
Black Country, New Road 2022 tour dates:
- 08/02/2022 – Roundhouse, London – UK
- 06/04/2022 – The Foundry, Sheffield – UK
- 07/04/2022 – O₂ Academy, Oxford – UK
- 09/04/2022 – Liquid Room, Edinburgh – UK
- 10/04/2022 – The Empire, Belfast – UK
- 11/04/2022 – Olympia, Dublin – IE
- 13/04/2022 – Albert Hall, Manchester – UK
- 14/04/2022 – Rock City, Nottingham – UK
- 16/04/2022 – Concorde 2, Brighton – UK
- 17/04/2022 – O₂ Academy, Bristol – UK