Black Midi Announce Sophomore Album 'Cavalcade'
Watch a video for opener "John L" now
Published Mar 23, 2021After teasing their return last week, Black Midi have shared details of a new album. The UK outfit will release sophomore LP Cavalcade on May 28 through Rough Trade.
The eight-song Cavalcade follows Black Midi's acclaimed 2019 album Schlagenheim and found the group seeking to record an effort that was "more considered" and "more harmonically interesting and challenging."
In opposition to the improvisational nature of their debut, half the album was written by individual members ahead of bringing ideas to the table in rehearsal.
"The experience this time round was completely the flipside to Schlagenheim," drummer Morgan Simpson explained in a statement. "A lot of the material was really fresh but that was something that played into our hands and we relished it."
Vocalist/guitarist Geordie Greep added: "It's easy to get wrapped up in the improvisation myth of divine intervention, that if a song doesn't happen in the room naturally without it being guided by someone specifically, when we're all just feeling the vibe, then it's not proper and it's not pure. That's kind of a dangerous thing because you end up never trying something different, or you just abandon an idea if it doesn't work at first because you're always waiting for that thing to arrive perfect."
Album opener "John L" is the first song to arrive, alongside a video directed by choreographer Nina McNeely that you can take in below. The single was recorded with producer Marta Salogni in London, while the remaining seven songs were cut with John "Spud" Murphy at Hellfire Studios in the Dublin mountains.
Of the latter sessions, Greep recalled, "We wanted a natural, open sound combined with fourth wall breaks — for lack of a better expression. Do you know on record when you can hear the tape screeching, the things that make you aware that you're listening to a recording? [With a lot of records] it feels like either you're listening to the ECM, high-fidelity, 25 mic amazing sound or you have the lo-fi album full of crazy effects. And I thought, 'Why not have an album where you combine the two?' That was one of the main ideas going into it and John was very keen on that idea."
Cavalcade features contributions from tour members Kaidi Akinnibi (saxophone) and Seth Evans (keyboard). Black Midi guitarist/vocalist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin is currently taking time away from the group to focus on his mental health.
You can find the album's tracklist below.
Black Midi and Schlagenheim landed on Exclaim!'s cover in 2019. The album was nominated for the UK's Mercury Prize that same year, ahead of Exclaim! naming it one of the 20 Best Pop and Rock Albums of 2019.
1. John L
2. Marlene Dietrich
3. Chondromalcia Patella
5. Diamond Stuff
7. Hogwash and Balderdash
8. Ascending Forth