Earlier this year, Squid announced the release of their much-anticipated debut album, Bright Green Field, out May 7th via Warp Records. Today, they present a new single, “Paddling,” which follows the release of “Narrator” (feat. Martha Skye Murphy), and announce an online performance as part of the official British Music Embassy SXSW showcase, airing Friday, March 19th at 6pm CDT.
“Paddling” has long been a staple of Squid’s incendiary live show. This psych-motorik stomper is a reaction to being thrust into an adult world as friends suddenly turn their focus to careers. Built around a drum machine loop and pulsing synth line, sonic details pepper the track as it lurches between dynamic movements. All the while, the band members share vocal duties with an infectious ease and confidence. Squid elaborates: “Written from two different perspectives, ‘Paddling’ is a song about the dichotomy between simple pleasures and decadent consumerism. Recounting a familiar scene from The Wind in the Willows, the song reminds us that although we are humans, we are ultimately animals that are driven by both modern and primal instincts, leading to vanity and machismo around us in the everyday.”
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. Written in Judge’s old local pub and recorded in producer Dan Carey’s London basement studio, it includes 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 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. Although the geography of Bright Green Field is an imaginary cityscape built from monolithic concrete buildings and dystopian visions, it’s also a joyous and emphatic record that marries the uncertainties of the world with a curious sense of exploration.