If your interest was piqued over the weekend by a cryptic set of visuals the band IDLES shared on Saturday, the news that their latest music video turned out to be just footage of the bandmates getting a lift to the shops might come as a bit of an anti-climax. Fortunately however, the song it’s attached to isn’t half bad. In fact (as should hardly be a surprise at this point), it’s actually very, very good.
Our next single ‘A HYMN’, out Tuesday 14 July.
— I D L E S (@idlesband) July 11, 2020
Premiering on their YouTube channel yesterday afternoon, “A Hymn” is the third single from the band’s upcoming album Ultra Mono, following on after May’s barnstorming “Mr. Motivator” and last month’s already firm fan-favourite “Grounds”. Changing tack from the aggressive snarl in those previous two tracks, “A Hymn” takes the tempo down a notch, opting to open with a minute long stretch of feedback and distortion.
This atmospheric prelude tees up what Ali Shutler of NME has called “the closest thing they’ve come to releasing an all-out ballad”; a muscular bassline is accented by pitter-patter hi-hats, as frontman Joe Talbot turns what should be a moment of vulnerability (“I wanna be loved/Everybody does”) into pessimistic misanthropy: “Shame, shame”. Contrasting the universal existentialism with grueling mundanity, translations of the profound lyrics in a variety of languages are displayed in ugly yellow font at the bottom of the screen as each of the band members embark on a shopping trip to TESCO. Watch the video for “A Hymn” through IDLES’ official YouTube channel below:
Speaking on their meaning, Talbot said in a press release, “‘A Hymn’ is a hymn that rejoices in the sinister flesh-eating virus of the pedestrian. It sings the tune of normal’s teeth sinking into your neck as you sleep stood up with your eyes open”. To celebrate the release of their third album, IDLES announced they would be selling tickets for three livestreams of virtual gigs in the run-up to its drop date. Ultra Mono will be released on the 25th of September via Partisan Records. Find the album’s tracklist and the dates of the livestream gigs listed here:
LIVESTREAM 1 SAT 29 AUG £10
9PM BST / 4PM EDT / 1PM PDT / 6AM AEST
LIVESTREAM 2 SAT 29 AUG £10
11:45PM BST / 6:45PM EDT / 3:45PM PDT / 8:45AM AEST
LIVESTREAM 3 SUN 30 AUG £10
12PM BST / 7AM EDT / 4AM PDT / 9PM AEST