Arrangements, the upcoming fourth record from Preoccupations, begins with the pounding metallic slash of guitar strings of “Fix Bayonets!” It’s harsh and desolate at first, but builds into a thrilling synth sprint. The track —from its call-to-arms title and tense first guitar phrases to its whirlwind evolution— sets the stage for what is to come: a Preoccupations record that weaves their guitar-heavy origins with their newer synth-based work.
The band have released their new song “Ricochet” a gothic dark pop churn with lead vocalist and songwriter Matthew Flegel’s mournful cries: “Everything tastes like the bitter end,” he calls, and Wallace carries the track out on lashing snare rolls. Flegal tells us “The lyrics are pretty conspicuous and self explanatory on this one, but it’s basically about the world blowing up and no one giving a shit.”
The album’s title —like that of their 2018 LP New Material— is literal and cheeky, a sharp contrast to the band’s sonic aesthetic. Having finished it entirely on their own, the band has decided to self-release the record outside of Canada. Long-time co-conspirators Flemish Eye will handle the record’s Canadian release.
Thematically speaking, Arrangements is dark and direct: “The lyrics are pretty conspicuous and self explanatory on this one, but it’s basically about the world blowing up and no one giving a shit,” says Flegel.
With Arrangements, Preoccupations finally and confidently inhabit the dystopia that they have been carefully creating from their musical genesis. In a room with taped up windows, with only a tiny pinprick of light beaming from the otherworld onto the far wall — upside down and blurred, yet recognizable enough to fill you with warm familiarity and nostalgia of unknown origins.
Photo Courtesy: Erik Tanner