London experimental collective Black Country, New Road have dropped another preview of their upcoming LP Ants From Up There with the winding and folky ‘Bread Song’.
A wide open and surprisingly beautiful tapestry of fingerpicked acoustic guitar and twinkling noises, the arrangement for ‘Bread Song’ is one of the most easily accessible from the band to date. As the song forges ahead, it adds touches like strings and drum taps, but it never gets too far-flung out in the band’s favoured style of chaos.
In case you were worried that the band were getting a little too traditional or straying a little far from their cacophonous roots, have no fear, the inspiration behind the song’s construction is rooted in avant-grade orchestration. “We wanted to do the first chorus with no time signature. I went to see Steve Reich do ‘Music for 18 Musicians’ and there’s a piece where a bar length is determined by the breath of the clarinet player, they just play until they run out of breath,” the band explain. “I wanted to try that with the whole band, where we don’t look at each other, we don’t make too many cues, we just try and play without time – but together.”
If the previous single ‘Chaos Space Marine’ signalled a strangely country-adjacent new path for the band, ‘Bread Song’ proves that they’re not afraid to lean into the softer and more delicate sonic spaces of their work. While contemporaries like Squid and Black Midi continue their full-throttle jazz-infused freakouts, BC, NR seem far more interested in playing with dynamics and stripping away their sound. It’s an interesting challenge they have put themselves up to, but they have two great songs out of it so far. Here’s hoping Ants From Up There is as surprising as its first two singles.
Check out the audio for ‘Bread Song’ down below. Ants From Up There is set for a February 4 release.