Jarv Is … have released their new song “Must I Evolve?” through Rough Trade Records. Jarv Is … is the new project of Jarvis Cocker, the frontman of English rock band Pulp.
In an unusual move, the single will only be available for purchase at live shows because Jarv Is … is “primarily a live experience,” per a press release. “Life is primarily a live experience,” said release explains as the reasoning behind the decision.
On the new track, Cocker launches into seven minutes of pulsating, hypnotic rock as he opens with the question, “Must I evolve?” before an eerie choir answers with a series of “yes’s,” traced along a pounding drum beat.
Cocker continues with a series of questions: “Must I change? Must I develop? Must I grow up? Must I grow old?” Each time, the choir interjects with a haunting series of affirmatives. Finally, Cocker asks, “Can I stay the same?” “No, no, no, no,” the choir answers.
After the experimental introduction, the song slowly erupts as Cocker sings, “One dark night, there was a big bang,” and launches into a journey through evolutionary history. “We started as pond slime,” he continues. “But now we are growing with none of us knowing where we are going.”
Also featuring Serafina Steer, Emma Smith, Andrew McKinney, Jason Buckle and Adam Betts, Jarv Is … will play at the 10-day festival All Points East in London’s Victoria Park on May 25 before heading to Primavera Sound in Barcelona this June and then playing in a cave in Ibiza on June 4.
Jarv Is … played their first show at Sigur Ros’ Norður og Niður festival in Iceland in 2017 before playing a sold-out tour of caverns and small venues through the U.K. in spring 2018. Most of the music for the group’s new single was recorded after a concert in Peak Cavern in Derbyshire on April 7.
Hear “Must I Evolve?” for yourself below and hear Cocker speak at Daytrotter circa 2007 further down.