Strength In Numbers, captures Cold Showers’ chemistry at its most effortless and anthemic, distilling a decade of experience into five future classics of romantic Madchester melancholia. Opening with the Screamadelica-esque “How Do You Know This Love?” (which features a guest spot by visionary rapper Lil B), the EP flows from baggy to blue, an alchemical mix of mood-swing synth-pop, night sky post-punk, and Technique-era New Order.
True to its title, these songs transcend the sum of their parts, born of the group’s uniquely interwoven collaborative process, with each member writing different parts across every instrument: “We deconstruct a song to its best elements, then rebuild it from there.” This ‘rip it up and start again’ method incrementally refines each track to its poetic essence, until, as King puts it, “the song seems to come more from the ether than from us.”
Although Cold Showers have cycled through an array of line-ups since forming in 2010, Strength In Numbers sounds like a band squarely in their prime, still ripening into ever more reflective and rarified states. King cites their shared simple maxim for continuing: “As long as it feels honest.” It feels far more than that. In the swirling, arpeggiated depths of “Sliver” – a song so elusive they’ve been trying to record it since 2015 – a shredded, shrouded guitar solo curls into the clouds and slowly decays, framing a couplet that hints at the group’s enduring, elemental presence: “there’s no coming back / as if mountains could move / lay me on broken glass / next to a picture of you.”
Strength In Numbers sees its release via DAIS Records across all digital platforms on June 11. Pre-save it here.
Photo Courtesy: Mike Bingham