London 6-piece Melt Yourself Down are set to release their third studio album ‘100% YES’, out on 27 March. The band also announce a UK headline tour, including a date at London’s Lafayette on 22nd April. Melt Yourself Down have also written original music for the opening and end credits of new BBC sitcom ‘King Gary’, which premieres on BBC One tonight.
With their current single ‘Every Single Day’ being added to BBC 6 Music’s playlist for a second consecutive week, this new music is the band’s most vital yet. Working with production legends Youth and Ben Hillier, the band have reimagined themselves and created a bruising re-up of their signature sound with added synths, anthems and epic joyrides for their upcoming new album, ‘100% YES’.
The hard hitting track Every Single Day explores the toxicity of social media platforms; “I’m a series of clicks and likes”, says Kush. The weaponisation of data is currently at the forefront of much debate and concern and Melt Yourself Down’s direct approach is blunt yet incredibly absorbing and inspiring.
The album’s searing opener ‘Boot and Spleen’ is inspired by the dark history of British colonialism in India. “The conversation that we’re having in this song is: What is it to be British?” says Kush. “What’s that identity now, in 2019? What sort of behaviours are allowed towards minorities, or from minorities towards the majority?”
There’s no simple answer to those questions but Melt Yourself Down are asking them anyway. They play into a great tradition of British insurgents that spans decades and genres, from the Sex Pistols to Radiohead, from Kate Tempest to Young Fathers. Yet the band’s lineage is also connected to jazz’s rich history of sticking a middle finger to The Man. “Jazz was the wild, dirty music of the 20s, 30s,” says Kush. “It was not a sit down, polite, experience.” Pete adds: “my favourite kind of jazz is when it feels dangerous”
The album as a whole presents an unflinching focus on the pressing realities of life in Britain today. ‘Born in the Manor’ takes on the Grenfell tragedy amidst looming synths and staccato brass, as Kush’s vocals morph from menacing speak-raps to a desperate wail. Lyrics indict the powers that be whose negligence allowed the West London fire to happen: “Born in the manor / Born in the gutter / For dem it don’t matter / Blacker, whiter, browner / You burn in a tower.”
The track ‘Crocodile’ is about the terrifying Russian drug Krokodil which literally melts people’s flesh. Kush says. “It’s about youth decay. It was very reminiscent of my time in Bristol where quite a few of my friends got addicted to crack, some died, some are still hooked. It is about boredom and desperation, unhealthy party scenes, having too much time on their hands and doing crap jobs.”
The record closes with the album’s title song ‘100% YES’. Brimming with optimism as the title suggests, the track highlights the band’s unparalleled skill and craftsmanship as musicians.
The desire to create new sonic pathways is an integral philosophy to Melt Yourself Down, whose two critically-lauded albums to date have alchemised influences from noisy No Wave to Nubian rhythms to create an eclectic and pan-global kind of party-punk. But their epochal third album ‘100% YES’ is their strongest statement yet, representing both a peak of musical synthesis for the band as well as a personal triumph.
This is a record set to establish Melt Yourself Down at the forefront of today’s music innovators, and a timely document of the increasingly complex nature of Britishness, whilst at the same time bubbles with excitement and hopefulness.
“So much has changed in the world since we started writing in 2016” says Pete. “We couldn’t ignore any of it and this new music is borne from our feelings of extreme cultural restlessness”.
‘100% YES’ is out on Decca Records on 27 March.
Wed 22 Apr Lafayette, London
Thu 23 Apr Patterns, Brighton
Fri 24 Apr Elsewhere, Margate
Sat 25 Apr Are You Listening? Festival, Reading
Tue 28 Mar The Brudenell, Leeds
Wed 29 Apr Bullingdon, Oxford
Thu 30 Apr Esquires, Bedford
Fri 1 May Hebden Bridge, Hebden
Sat 2 May Junction 2, Cambridge
Mon 4 April The Loft, Southampton
Tue 5 May Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
Wed 6 May Clwb, Cardiff