Two years ago, experimental London rock band Black Midi was bugging out on their debut album Schlagenheim, an album in which the rock quartet held nothing back, whatsoever, and let their spirits flow freely. The effort garnered the band much critical acclaim and a nomination for the 2019 Mercury Prize. Black Midi has now announced their sophomore effort, entitled Cavalcade, and shared the album’s first single, “John L.”
Bassist and vocalist Cameron Picton shared that Cavalcade is, thematically, a sort of exploration of various characters. On “John L,” that character is a cult leader whose followers are beginning to turn on him. “When you’re listening, you can imagine all the characters form a sort of cavalcade,” Picton said in a statement. “Each tells their story one by one and as each track ends, they overtake you, replaced by the next in line.”
The band took a different approach to this album in almost every aspect. Writing and recording the project almost entirely at home, they also reached to some friends to add new sonics to their overall sound. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in the improvisation myth of divine intervention, that if a song doesn’t happen in the room naturally without it being guided by someone specifically, when we’re all just feeling the vibe, then it’s not proper and it’s not pure,” guitarist Geordie Greep said of their process.
Watch the mind-boggling video for lead single “John L,” directed by choreographer Nina McNeely, below.
Cavalcade is set for release on May 28 via Rough Trade.