NPR Music today premiered Manchester Orchestra’s video for new song, The Alien, the second single from the Atlanta band’s forthcoming album, A Black Mile To The Surface, which will be released July 28th via Loma Vista Recordings. “The Daniels, a directing duo of whom I am a ridiculously big fan, worked as the creative directors of A Black Mile To The Surface, and together we created a few music videos and all the album art. A Black Mile To The Surface allowed for a lot of room to invoke feelings through gravity,” says video director, Mike Dempsey. Watch The Alienhere.
Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull says of the video, “The Alien is a narrative about a small slice of time in a man’s life as he faces a lofty decision with a dire consequence. It is ultimately about family and the effects, big and small, that family has on everybody. We knew it was important for the video to have a narrative that added an otherworldly element without taking away from the original story. Mike Dempsey and The Daniels have created a beautiful and intense representation of life and the unexpected movements that occur for all of us.”
Dempsey adds, “I have always enjoyed photographing people in motion, falling down stairs or holding onto a tree branch or crashing into a wall with a bike. The band — a group of wildly talented musicians and storytellers who were an absolute blast to work with — hand selected a few references from my website and we developed concepts around them. While planning for ‘The Alien’ music video specifically, we chose to do a piece that could use physical movement to express an internal feeling, in this case it was a daughter spreading her mother’s ashes, but her experience of the event is like getting swept off her feet by a tornado.”
A Black Mile To The Surface is available for pre-order now, with The Gold and The Alien coming as instant grat downloads with purchase: http://found.ee/MO_ABMTTSstore-r. The Gold premiered earlier this month via SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, and has been earning press attention from outlets including Pitchfork, NYLON (‘51 Best Music Releases Of The Week’), Paste (“gripping”), Brooklyn Vegan (“…this is looking like their best-sounding albums in years”), Substream, and more. Watch The Gold video, directed by Mike Dempsey and Johnny Chew, HERE.
The band recently announced a U.S. fall tour of headlining dates including shows at The Novo in Los Angeles on September 14th and at Terminal 5 in New York City on September 29th. A current itinerary is below; tickets are on-sale now HERE.
Always a band to push themselves creatively with each subsequent release, Manchester Orchestra has expanded their dynamic sound to peak form on the cinematic and epic A Black Mile To The Surface. The album – featuring production by Catherine Marks (Foals, PJ Harvey, The Killers), John Congleton (St. Vincent, Explosions In The Sky, Angel Olsen), and their longtime studio partner Dan Hannon – showcases a band that rethought, deconstructed, and rebuilt their songwriting process to propel their music into a new emotional arena, drawing on singer/guitarist Hull and co-writer/multi-instrumentalist Robert McDowell’s unique experience scoring the 2016 Sundance hit film Swiss Army Man (directed by The Daniels). Throughout recording the album, Hull and McDowell – along with bandmates Tim Very (drums) and Andy Prince (bass) – opened up their collaborative process and pushed themselves to go against their first instincts at every turn.
A Black Mile To The Surface is a bold record of vision and purpose, inspired by and dwelling in a sensory and imaginative experience. It’s a reinvention of sorts – both musically and personally – and an evolution of the band, while also retaining the sweeping, melodic, and anthemic sounds for which Manchester Orchestra has become known.