NEW ALBUM DATURA OUT OCTOBER 14 VIA SHARPTONE RECORDS
FAN REMIX CHALLENGE FOR PREVIOUS SINGLE “PASSENGER” LAUNCHED
Boston Manor’s universe of a record Datura is out October 14 via SharpTone Records, as the band embarks on a tour of the UK and Europe with Alexisonfire. A final advance taster of the album in the form of the video for “Crocus” has been shared. Watch it here.
“Crocus” is a track that starts out softly but builds with immense intention and energy, before fading away.
“‘Crocus’ is a song we’ve been trying to write for years — we always used to joke about writing a song that could be played in that club in The Matrix,” says singer Henry Cox. “I think this has been our best attempt, and we tried to mimic that in the video. We’re very proud of both the song and the video which was directed by our long time collaborator Zak Pinchin and choreographed by Kate Hannah and her team, who managed to put together the full routine in only 10 days. We’re going to be playing it live for the first time this week and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Boston Manor have also invited fans to get creative with their music ahead of the album drop by making the original stems for “Passenger” available for download on their Soundcloud page so that the track is open for remix. As they say: “Have fun with it. Comment on the Soundcloud post with a link to your remix, we’ll share our favourites. Music is for everyone.”
Datura is an album that pushes the limits and stretches the boundaries of Boston Manor more than ever before, musically, lyrically, thematically and conceptually. 2018’s Welcome To The Neighbourhood and 2020s GLUE shifted the needle in terms of Boston Manor’s sound, incorporating synths into their framework and a heavy focus on atmosphere. Coming off the back of last year’s Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures EP, Datura takes all that one step further. The first of two parts, this set of songs exists in the dim light between dusk and dawn. It’s a record you don’t just merely listen to, but one – from the moment the sinister opening strains of first song “Datura (dusk)” begin – you actually inhabit and experience. It’s a record that envelops you, drags you into the dark shadows, leaves you cold, breathless, paranoid.
The smouldering, ominous title track bleeds into “Floodlights On The Square,” a song of despair that reaches anthemic proportions, but which also contains some widescreen, John Carpenter-esque flourishes. The darkness, literally and metaphorically, continues with both “Foxglove” — the album’s crunching, catchy first single, released back in April — and the intense and unrestrained burst of “Passenger,” a song that’s both hopeful and energetic but also on the verge of emotional collapse. “Crocus” fades into the eerie, rain-laced cyber-punk instrumental “Shelter From The Rain.” It might not be a traditional Boston Manor song, but it’s an essential component of this album, and one which takes heavy influence from the video game and movie soundtracks that the members of the band adore. It “illustrates how it’s like 4am at that point,” says vocalist Henry Cox. “It evokes loneliness and despair, but with a small sense of hope in it that things will get better — that the rain will stop and the sun will rise. It brings the listener in and makes them feel like the protagonist within the story. They’re part of what’s happening on the record and can fully immerse themselves into the world we’ve created. And that then takes you into “Inertia,” which kind of closes the record. That’s a love song, but it’s about hope for the future as well.”
It only “kind of closes” the record because there’s actually a hidden track after it, one which starts as a future-dystopian instrumental, but which then gives way unexpectedly to birdsong and the break of dawn. That snaps you immediately out of the bleak environment and mood you’ve just been submerged in, one inspired by Cox drinking too much during the height of the pandemic and the dark nights and darker mornings that followed.
“I want people to connect with the themes of this album,” he says. “Not so much in terms of it being so specific to me — although I hope they appreciate the vulnerability in it — but with the view that they can project their own life story onto it. At its core, this is an album about somebody struggling to get control of their life and pull themselves up. I think a lot of people can relate to that, especially in the times that we’re living in at the moment. So as much as I was writing about my problems, I hope people can find solace in it.”
DATURA TRACK LISTING:
“Floodlights On The Square”
“Shelter From The Rain”
BOSTON MANOR ARE:
Henry Cox — Vocals
Ash Wilson — Guitar
Mike Cunniff — Guitar
Dan Cunniff — Bass
Jordan Pugh — Drums