SQUID have shared new track ‘The Blades’, the final single to be released ahead of their sophomore album ‘O Monolith’, out on 9 June via Warp Records. The single is accompanied by a video directed by Kasper Haggstrom (Radiohead, Kelly Lee Owens) featuring rising British actress Charlotte Ritchie, famed for her roles in Fresh Meat, Stath Lets Flats and Ghosts.
Similarly to SQUID, Haggstrom’s work blurs the lines between high-concept philosophies and the humdrum of domesticity. Haggstrom’s video for ‘The Blades’ sees the protagonist, played brilliantly by Ritchie, locked in a Kafka-esque nightmare as she sits ludicrously at the back of an imaginary queue in an empty waiting room due to a mischievous child’s prank. The passage of time and cruel absurdity of the situation triggers an out of body experience and release before returning to her Sisyphean plot.
Haggstrom on his video: “At last we get to work together! Thank you for trusting in my idea and for presenting me with such a great track from your latest album. This concept is one I’ve been thinking of for a while now and it fits seamlessly with the track.”
Watch the video HERE.
‘The Blades’ presents the dynamic range of singer Ollie Judge’s vocal delivery, a marked change across ‘O Monolith’. Judge credits it as his favourite SQUID song thus far: “It’s a lot more vulnerable than stuff we’ve previously done, which can be quite a daunting thing. Dan (Carey) and I were talking about vocal delivery and how it would be good to not completely let myself go, and to not fall back on shouting because it’s more instantly gratifying. The end of the song is really soft and tender, and I don’t think we’ve done something like that before,” he comments.
“On the surface it’s a song about police brutality with the last section kind of inspired by The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, although I’ve never read the book, I’ve just seen the Simpson’s spoof of it. Narratively it follows a police helicopter pilot’s day, ending with him in bed hearing another pilot circling the skies as if he were taunting him. There’s a deeper meaning in there somewhere, of my fear of ego, but I’m still working out which bit of the song that’s coming from.”
Produced by Dan Carey, mixed by John McEntire of Tortoise, and recorded at Real World, ‘O Monolith’ tackles themes and issues such as environmental peril, morality and English folklore. Expansive, evocative and hugely varied, ‘O Monolith’ retains Squid’s restless, enigmatic spirit. It’s a reflection of the progression of a band always looking to the future. “We’re quite a musically stubborn band and, in an endearing way, it’s a stubborn record,” says Judge. Like its namesake, ‘O Monolith’ is vast and strange, alive with endless possible interpretations.
SQUID, who are Louis Borlase (guitar and vocals), Ollie Judge (drums and lead vocals), Arthur Leadbetter (keyboards, strings and percussion), Laurie Nankivell (bass and brass) and Anton Pearson (guitars and vocals), recently announced a winter North American headline tour, a full EU tour alongside festival appearances, and a series of intimate instore and outstore shows partnering with record shops around the album. The first of these will take place at Resident in Brighton on Saturday 10th June from 6:30pm. Tickets and album options can be found HERE.