The God In Hackney has created a largely genre-transcendent record that offers several crampons, rappels and pulleys to climb out of easy category definitions. The bands upcoming album The World In Air Quotes (out April 28 via Junior Aspirin) contains a whole continent of influences, fused and mangled. If you put a gun to the band members’ heads they’d cite the hybridity of post-punk as a structural influence, and too many genres to list, among them: pop, jazz, techno, dub, funk, 1990s UK drum’n’bass, industrial, goth, house, modern classical, no wave, psychedelic, drone, disco, post-rock, northern soul, folk, shoegaze, krautrock/kosmiche, movie soundtracks, garage rock, Tropicalia, and the music that came out of Bristol, UK, in the ‘90s.
Today The God In Hackney have shared their latest single from The World In Air Quotes, “In This Room.” Accompanied by a stop-motion animated video, “In This Room” is piano-led ballad that explores loneliness people feel within the digital world. Being immersed within chat rooms and apps are heavily influenced which ultimately leads you to feeling despondent.
The World In Air Quotes is The God In Hackney’s third album. It’s an album that resonates with the anxieties of the moment—feelings about climate change, isolation, extinction, the social impact of technology, the flattening of history—and it’s a record that tries to illuminate the darkness with laughter and surreal imagination.
For The World in Air Quotes, the core God In Hackney quartet of Andy Cooke, Dan Fox, Ashley Marlowe and Nathaniel Mellors has expanded its lineup to include American multi-instrumentalists and composers Eve Essex (Eve Essex & The Fabulous Truth, Das Audit, Peter Gordon & Love of Life Orchestra, Peter Zummo, Liturgy) and Kelly Pratt (Father John Misty, David Byrne/St Vincent, Beirut, and Lonnie Holley among many others), signalling a new and ambitious direction for the band. The album cover features artwork by Iranian-American artist Tala Madani, recently the subject of a career survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
You could say that The God In Hackney’s music has always offered an ultra-oblique, dreamlike form of social commentary. Their 2014 debut, Cave Moderne—named album of the year by the late, great, Andrew Weatherall—imagined contemporary society if it was still inhabited by Neanderthals. Its mordant-pop follow-up, Small Country Eclipse, was a record about islander mentality, about the empty nationalism of Brexit and populist politics. Now we have The World in Air Quotes, their most dynamic and genre-defying to date, a record which resists easy categorization, made in the innovative spirit of post-punk, in pursuit of vital and fresh sonic real-estate.
It is an album about life, death, ecology, and the sclerotic grip of a culture mired in quote, reference and deflated imagination; an ambitious attempt to climb out of the hole.
Photo Courtesy: Chris Bloor