Over the last eighteen months, Squid has become one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the UK. Today, they announce their eagerly awaited debut album, Bright Green Field, out May 7th on Warp Records, and lead single/video, “Narrator” feat. Martha Skye Murphy. Produced by Dan Carey, Bright Green Field is an album of towering scope and ambition that endlessly twists down unpredictable avenues. Each member – Louis Borlase (guitars/vocals), Oliver Judge (drums/vocals), Arthur Leadbetter (keyboards/strings/ percussion), Laurie Nankivell (bass/brass) and Anton Pearson (guitars/vocals) – played an equal, vital role in the album’s creation.
Leading into their debut full-length, Squid have been A-listed by BBC Radio 6Music, garnered praise from Pitchfork, Stereogum, The Guardian, NME, The Quietus, FADER, Paste and more. Following the release of singles “Houseplants,” “Sludge,” “The Cleaner,” “Broadcaster,” and the Town Centre EP, Bright Green Field is completely new, a nod to the band’s emphasis on perpetual forward motion.
Bright Green Field was initially written in Judge’s old local pub and recorded in Carey’s London basement studio. It features field recordings of ringing church bells, tooting bees, microphones swinging from the ceiling orbiting a room of guitar amps, a distorted choir of 30 voices as well as a horn and string ensemble featuring the likes of Emma-Jean Thackray and Lewis Evans from Black Country, New Road.
Squid’s music – be it agitated and discordant or groove-locked and flowing – has often been a reflection of the tumultuous world we live in. As an album title, Bright Green Field conjures an almost tangible imagery of pastoral England. However, it’s something of a decoy that captures the band’s fondness for paradox and juxtaposition. There’s a push-pull element to this album, present sonically in its tension and release approach, as well as thematically and lyrically. Within the geography of Bright Green Field lies monolithic concrete buildings and dystopian visions plucked from imagined cities. “This album has created an imaginary cityscape,” says Judge, who writes the majority of the lyrics. “The tracks illustrate the places, events and architecture that exist within it. Previous releases were playful and concerned with characters, whereas this album is darker and more concerned with place – the emotional depth of the music has deepened.”
Lead single “Narrator” ricochets from funk strut to screeching chaos via the melodic touch of guest vocalist Martha Skye Murphy. As described by the band, “‘Narrator’ was inspired by the 2019 film A Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The song follows a man who is losing the distinction between memory, dream and reality and how you can often mold your memories of people to fit a narrative that benefits your ego. Martha Skye-Murphy made the point that the unreliable narrator is, more often than not, a male who wishes to portray women as submissive characters in their story. After some discussions with Martha she thought it’d be a good idea that she play the part of the woman wanting to break free from the dominating story the male has set.”
Squid’s first ever official video, directed by Felix Green, shows the micro-components of a 3D design. “I had wanted to make a video about the virtual creation process for some time. I often think this ‘behind the digital curtain’ part of 3D design looks more interesting than the final finished product since it conveys a process and an authorship,” says Green. “When I was approached to pitch on ‘Narrator’ I immediately thought it could be the perfect match for this very visual idea.”
For all the innovative recording techniques, evolutionary leaps, lyrical themes and ideas underpinning Bright Green Field, the album is also a joyous and emphatic record that marries the uncertainties of the world with a curious sense of exploration.
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Bright Green Field Tracklist
1. Resolution Square
3. Narrator feat. Martha Skye Murphy
4. Boy Racers
6. Documentary Filmmaker
8. The Flyover
9. Peel St
10. Global Groove