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Artist
Squid
ReleaseProduct
Bright Green Field
Label
Warp
Catalogue Number
WARPCDD314
Release Date
May 7, 2021

Bundles

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  • Black vinyl:

    Pre-order $29.99
    • Bright Green Field Vinyl, 2×LP Black vinyl

    • Squid Slipmat Slipmat

    • + WAV / FLAC
    • Bleep exclusive slipmat limited to 200

    Available: December 3, 2021

Instant WAV / FLAC download with all Vinyl / Vinyl / CD / Bundle / Bundle purchases.

Genres

British post-punk is having its strongest moment in decades. The cyclical nature of trends means a resurgence was always on the cards, but the generational clock has reset differently this time around. Unlike the mid-00s guitar band boom, which propelled some genuine originals on a fast-track to success in the slipstream of indie’s mass popularity, today’s cadre of acts — who, alongside Squid, includes Dry Cleaning, black midi and Black Country, New Road — face less charitable conditions. They are emboldened to push their sound farther out to the fringes, so the quality has ratcheted up as a result.

Squid’s strength is multifaceted. Musically, they step like descendents of one-album wonders like Clor and Late Of The Pier, who were gleeful of rhythm and mathematical of structure - they even mirror Warp’s own Battles in a few ways, too. Each of Squid’s five members is in perpetual motion, although not necessarily heading in the same direction 100% of the time. Ollie Judge, a welcome addition to the small list of lead vocalists who perch off the edge of their drum stool, ties it together with impunity. On ‘Paddling’ he comes off like a carnival barker holding a BSc in theoretical physics, crying “Don’t push me in!” over and over as riffs coil upward and eyes roll back in their head.

Lyrically, “Bright Green Field” paints a delightful picture of living in Britain: kettled by reality, nationhood reduced to a spat over passport colour, staring at Westminister voting intention polls showing Conversative numbers rising and going absolutely fucking crackers at the intractable stagnancy of it all. It’s fair to say Squid are doomers through and through.

And yet, it’s a wryly funny listen. The group’s grim fascination with banality means most people’s initial exposure to their creed will be ‘G.S.K.’, a mocking paean to worshipping the sun as it reflects off Brentford’s enormous GlaxoSmithKline headquarters. There’s a tactical wink in naming a song ‘Global Groove’ then ensuring it lurches through a rant about a world where people consume wars like sitcoms and let their brains rot on a Peloton. Squid have a canny knack at making the abstruse universal.

Nowhere does “Bright Green Field” punch harder than the early 1-2 of ‘Narrator’ and ‘Boy Racers’. As the former reaches fever pitch, the band and guest Martha Skye Murphy burst out of the song’s Motorik pulse into one of the most deliriously extra codas in recent memory. You quickly lose track of who’s screaming: Murphy, Judge, or the instruments.

They take a split second to disentangle, then dive into a twitchy beat which wouldn’t sound out of place on a James Chance or This Heat record from 1981. Moments later, the band are recast as Tortoise Mk.II, running through a sticky interplay like ‘Djed’-i knights, before being smelted into the bleakest phase of a Godspeed You! Black Emperor show. And why not? The cumulative effect is 16 minutes without equal on any other record released this year. You’d imagine Squid are the only ones bold enough to try, and skilled enough to pull it off.

Through all this, with no streaming-friendly track lengths nor concessions to the BBC Live Lounge, “Bright Green Field” still managed to crack the top 5 of the UK album charts, and inspire sold-out tours on both sides of the Atlantic. Blistering noise onslaughts, lashings of funk and jazz, garbled non-sequiturs, niche 16th century instruments and a hive of bees combine to make a crown jewel of the new freak scene. Squid’s lucid and deeply satisfying collagist approach harks back to countless avant- and alt-heroes of years past, without ever feeling like slavish retromania. The kids aren’t coming up from behind anymore — they’re miles out in front.

Digital Track List

  1. 1 Resolution Square Squid 0:40 Buy

    Resolution Square

  2. 2 G.S.K. Squid 3:10 Buy
  3. 3 Narrator Squid & Martha Skye Murphy 8:28 Buy
  4. 4 Boy Racers Squid 7:34 Buy
  5. 5 Paddling Squid 6:15 Buy
  6. 6 Documentary Filmmaker Squid 4:55 Buy

    Documentary Filmmaker

  7. 7 2010 Squid 4:28 Buy
  8. 8 The Flyover Squid 1:10 Buy
  9. 9 Peel St. Squid 4:52 Buy
  10. 10 Global Groove Squid 5:06 Buy
  11. 11 Pamphlets Squid 8:03 Buy
  • Bright Green Field

Squid

Squid

Warp

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