Progressive, avant-rock band Blessed release their galloping new single – “Agoraphobia”. Their forthcoming album Circuitous is a rich, moving and committed piece of work that expands on the band’s eclectic discography. Blessed have sharpened their strengths, bringing everchanging depth and expansion to their song craft. The result is a sweeping, hyperreal, industrial art-rock tragedy, rendered in walls of noise, controlled drums, meandering ambience, and staccato syncopation.
Of the latest single, singer/guitarist Drew Riekman states, “Dealing with moments of panic and crisis is confusing for the people around you. Especially if you’re suffering from something that doesn’t have heft in the common day-to-day world. Wide open spaces and being far from home is generally exciting for most, and touring was a vehicle for me to feel that same feeling a lot of the time. But with so much home time, I was enveloped again with a sensation that makes little sense to anyone else, and attempted to open the door a little to that isolation.”
Pulled from hours of jam material and hundreds of demos, Circuitous’s eight tracks sprawl and thrash and burst and fall, sometimes for nearly eight minutes – lyrically speaking to agoraphobia, isolation, grief, the hyper-control of capital and the numbness it breeds. Blessed recorded Circuitous during winter 2020-2021 at Vancouver’s Rain City Recorders with Matt Roach and Emily Ryan. The record was mixed by John Congleton (Swans, St. Vincent, Wye Oak) and mastered by Greg Obis (Alabaster Deplume, Cloud Nothings). The group experimented with two different drum setups, eventually blending the two within a single song. The record builds on Blessed’s commitment to creativity, introducing more synthesizers, programming, MIDI, sequencers, and experimentation in arrangements.
Blessed’s longtime collaborator, digital artist Nathan Donovan, paired up with Jacob Dutton, to art direct and design all original art and videos for the record, centering on a nameless, childlike robot that embodies very specific, subtle and uncanny expressions. The robot appears on the record’s cover and in the video / visuals for previous acclaimed singles “Redefine” and “Anything”.
Circuitous sees its release at the end of this month – October 28 via Flemish Eye. To pre-order or save, go here.
Photo Courtesy: Sebastian Buzzalino