The first new Manchester Orchestra album since 2017’s acclaimed A Black Mile to the Surface is officially on its way, solving the mystery presented by the seven-day countdown that started after the Atlanta band’s A Black Mile To The Surface: The Global Concert Film screening last week. Ahead of the April 30 release of The Million Masks of God via Loma Vista Recordings, Andy Hull and company have shared an ambitious new single and video, “Bed Head.”
“‘Bed Head’ is two old friends existing in two separate realities,” says Hull. “It’s a conversation about the lives they lived, the consequences of life’s decisions, and finding purpose in trying to be better.” These heady contemplations play out over perhaps the most pop-oriented track Manchester Orchestra have yet put to tape, serving as the emotional spine that runs through crackling drum machines, broad guitar and synth figures, and a shout-along chorus—you can practically hear the packed house joining in, but the band’s usual raw emotion is somehow sapped by the song’s big, busy production. Andrew Donoho directs the song’s moving music video, aptly described in a press release as a “mini-supernatural thriller film,” in which a ghostly Hull haunts his family’s home to moving effect.
Speaking of restless spirits, Hull says of The Million Masks of God, “If Black Mile was this idea of ‘from birth to death,’ this album would really be more about ‘from birth to beyond, focusing on the highs and lows of life and exploring what could possibly come next.’” Hull and his fellow lead Manchester Orchestra songwriter Robert McDowell co-produced the band’s new album alongside Catherine Marks (PJ Harvey, The Killers) and Ethan Gruska (Phoebe Bridgers). The band, rounded out by Tim Very (drums) and Andy Prince (bass), envisioned The Million Masks of God as a “movie album” that tells “the loose story of a man’s encounter with the angel of death as he’s shown various scenes from his life in a snapshot-style assemblage.” The songs blend fact and fiction, as Hull and McDowell found their own personal struggles reflected in their character’s.
Watch the “Bed Head” video below and see the details of The Million Masks of God further down, beneath the audio from Manchester Orchestra’s 2008 Daytrotter session. You can preorder their new album here.
The Million Masks of God Album Art:
The Million Masks of God Tracklist:
02. Angel Of Death
03. Keel Timing
04. Bed Head
07. Let It Storm
10. Way Back
11. The Internet