black midi Announce New Album Cavalcade, Share "John L" Video

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black midi Announce New Album <i>Cavalcade</i>, Share "John L" Video

Singular English rockers black midi—that is, Geordie Greep (vocals, guitar), Cameron Picton (vocals, bass guitar, synths) and Morgan Simpson (drums)—have announced their sophomore album, Cavalcade, out May 28 on Rough Trade. The quartet’s second effort follows 2019’s Schlagenheim, one of Paste’s top albums of that year, so to say it’s much-anticipated is an understatement. Its details arrived Tuesday alongside lead single “John L” and its downright hallucinatory music video.

black midi envision Cavalcade as “a line of larger than life figures, from a cult leader fallen on hard times and an ancient corpse found in a diamond mine to legendary cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich, strolling seductively past them,” according to a press release. Picton connects that concept to the record’s title in a statement: “When you’re listening, you can imagine all the characters form a sort of cavalcade. Each tells their story one by one and as each track ends they overtake you, replaced by the next in line.” Greep adds, “The emphasis when we were making and sequencing Cavalcade was to make music that was as dramatic and as exciting as possible.”

That approach quickly becomes obvious on the album itself: Opener “John L” is a whirling dervish of a track, even by black midi’s standards. Greep’s ever-unexpected vocals sound strange in an entirely new way as he unspools the tale of a cult leader whose flock turns against him (“No hack with an army / Will last long before he / Breeds men who yearn / For their own bloody glory,” he warns), while the additions of Joscelin Dent-Pooley on violin and Kaidi Akinnibi on sax lend a particularly anxiety-inducing new element to the band’s sound. Simpson’s thundering drums marshal “this infernal din,” which stops and starts on a dime, further intensifying its chaotic energy.

The song’s accompanying visual, directed by choreographer Nina McNeely (Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer,” Gaspar Noe’s Climax), is every bit as disorienting: Dancers perform in front of a backdrop that evokes the Illuminati, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City all at once. The video grows increasingly horrific, with its central monolith bleeding from its cyclopean eye, until all that horror gives way to something new.

“John L” is now available for purchase as a 12”, along with b-side “Despair.”

Watch the “John L” video below and find the details of Cavalcade further down.

Cavalcade Tracklist:
1. John L
2. Marlene Dietrich
3. Chondromalacia Patela
4. Slow
5. Diamond Stuff
6. Dethroned
7. Hogwash and Balderdash
8. Ascending Forth

Cavalcade Album Art:

BlackMidiCavalcadeArt.jpeg

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