On the back of announcing their new album, that in their words is “sad, epic and possibly more universally likeable” than their debut album For The First Time, Black Country, New Road have begun releasing a string of new singles ahead of the album release on February 4th.
The latest single ‘Snow Globes’ follows the last single entitled ‘Concorde’, which was dropped last November along with the Steve Reich-inspired single, ‘Bread Song‘ and ‘Chaos Space Marine’. ‘Snow Globes’ made its live debut in 2020 and has since become quite a hit with fans.
The song finally had its official release on Wednesday, January 19th, and upon first listen, I felt gently surprised by the slow entrancing string section that builds up slowly over the first three minutes of undisturbed bliss; three minutes in which I had half-forgotten to expect the avant-garde tamperings synonymous with the experimental Londoners. In comes Isaac Wood’s familiar voice, soft at first, followed by the avant-garde drum rhythm that builds into a crescendo juxtaposing with the still tranquil background string sections, meanwhile Wood’s vocals become more intense. The intensity then tapers off back into the tranquil scenery of the first part of the track as if waking from a nice dream that turned into a strange nightmare fraught with anxiety.
I use the word nightmare in a positive sense here, of course, the song is a triumph, with its beginning of tranquil positivity through to the strangely beautiful, confused emotional juxtaposition toward the end, the song appears to reflect the stark realities of life in, perhaps not the best, but the most powerful song from Black Country, New Road to date.
In a discussion about the single, drummer Charlie Wayne said: “’Snow Globes’ was one of the songs which had existed before we wrote the majority of the songs on AFUT. Though it’s a pretty good representation of the musical world we wanted to explore on the album at large.”
Adding: “Rather than writing a song with a number of distinct sections we wanted to see what we could do with one continuous riff. It was a real exploration in trying to create something maximalist whilst limiting ourselves with minimal musical choices.”
He continued: “Because the melodic instruments are all playing the riff in unison, Snow Globes left the drums with an interesting opportunity. The drums don’t sit separately from the rest of the band on Snow Globes, but we wanted to use them in a way that we hadn’t in the past.
“As the song progressed the drums still occupy a slightly different sound world, but because the rest of the band is playing in such a syncopated style, the drums were given a space to disregard rhythm and be completely expressive.”
The track indeed leaves us in hope of great things from the group’s second album Ants From Up There which is set for release on February 4th, 2022.
For those hoping to see Black Country, New Road live this year, their UK tour in support of the new album is beginning shortly with a concert at the Roundhouse in London on February 8th.
Stream the new single ‘Snow Globes’ below.