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English indie rockers Blaenavon have shared the details of their second album Everything That Makes You Happy, out this Friday (Oct. 25) via Transgressive/Canvasback. Along with the news, they’ve also shared two new singles “I Want You” and “Fucking Up My Friends,” which follow their lead single “Catatonic Skinbag.” Everything That Makes You Happy will serve as the sequel to their 2017 debut LP That’s Your Lot. The new album was recorded at Manchester’s Eve Studios, and was produced by Catherine Marks (Foals, St. Vincent, Wolf Alice). Per a press release, it’s largely informed by frontman Ben Gregory’s struggles with mental health.
“I Want You” traverses the valleys of Gregory’s troubled mind as he reaches for the solace of others while also beating himself up. Uplifted by a hopeful, swelling hook, it’s a meditation on one’s capacity to love others while their own self-love is lacking. The song’s grand finale via strings and piano appears to arrive at the conclusion that love is a noble cause, no matter what personal demons try to interfere. On “Fucking Up My Friends,” Gregory’s uncertainties shift from romantic longing to platonic desire. Its earnest benevolence (“I wanna dance with someone unapologetically themselves”) and heartbreaking insecurities (“Cause I just wanna be enough for you and everyone else”) are displayed in naked clarity, and it’s far too good-natured for anyone to merely brush it aside.
In a statement, Gregory writes:
Everything That Makes You Happy. I couldn’t be prouder for you all to hear this album: an optimistic response to a difficult time. It made sense with the record’s impending release to touch base with you again and explain what’s been happening in our world.
I’ve been very open regarding my mental health, and earlier this year things once more took a turn for the worst. In an industry so challenging, I pushed myself too hard and relapsed, returning to the hospital for a short time. I know many of you have really been struggling with your mental health, but I can promise you that time heals all and everything WILL be alright. The good news is the music hasn’t stopped flowing and we won’t make you wait another two and a half years to hear more. The support from you all throughout everything has been so warm and I’m honoured to have you guys as fans and friends.
I want to make this band one you cherish forever, I want to thank my family for being such incredible rocks through all this trauma and I want to thank you for believing in this band as much as I do.
Breathe this album in deeply – it really is one of a kind and from a very special place.
All my love, Ben x
Listen to “I Want You” and “Fucking Up My Friends” below. You can preorder Everything That Makes You Happy here.