Wild Beasts announce new album Boy King
23rd May 2016
Wild Beasts have announced their new album Boy King. Their most direct and vital collection to date, the album is set for release on 5th August 2016 with its first single ‘Get My Bang’ also released today. The video for ‘Get My Bang’ was shot in Belgrade and directed by Olivier Groulx (Arcade Fire, alt-J, Scott Walker) featuring vocalist Hayden Thorpe’s twisted routine of Justin Timberlake-meets-Trent Reznor choreography.
Where 2014's Present Tense album found Wild Beasts in reflective mood, absorbing a fascination with online culture and electronic music, Boy King has them, as Tom Fleming puts it, "back to being pissed off". The quartet’s ever-present knack for sensual melody via Hayden Thorpe and Fleming's dueting vocals, Ben Little's sinuous guitar groove and Chris Talbot's potent rhythm section carries in Boy King an aggressive, snarling and priapic beast that delves into the darker side of masculinity and Thorpe's own psyche. As Hayden himself says, "After five records there had to be an element of 'what the fuck?'".
A newfound creative friction between Thorpe and Fleming proved key to unleashing the unique pop sensibility of Boy King - Fleming’s more visceral experimentation unlocking new dimensions in Thorpe’s own writing. After spending a whole year finessing this new found impetus in East London, the band emerged with a collection of songs ready to take to Dallas and producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Swans, The War on Drugs). Both Thorpe and Fleming credit that trip to Dallas with teasing out the raw power of Boy King. In the studio, the band kept up the intensity of the office hour routine they'd employed during writing sessions and, they say, responded well to Congleton's sober discipline. "He made us get in there, get on and do it," Fleming says. "English politeness never featured."
The raw pop of Boy King's songs are the perfect foil to Thorpe's libidinous lyricism: "it became apparent that that guitar almost became the character within the songs, that phallic character, the all-conquering male," he says. "I'm letting my inner Byron fully out, I thought I'd tucked him away, but he came screaming back like the Incredible Hulk." Here lies Boy King's greatest success. Between the slide of prowling aggression and interior darkness, there are glorious, gorgeous moments. It’s yet another incomparable Wild Beasts record; a visceral, sensual and jolting body of work that acts as a remarkable soundtrack to the early 21st century male malaise. Or as Thorpe puts it: "I think Boy King is an apocalyptic record. It's about swimming in the abyss. When you think about sex, you've got to think about death, they're one and the same.”Boy King will be released on heavyweight 12” vinyl including album download card, with a deluxe edition including a bonus 7” of two bonus songs available via the Wild Beasts online store. The album will also be released on standard and deluxe CD formats, with the deluxe edition including a 12-page booklet, as well as deluxe digital download.
All deluxe editions include bonus material, Boy King Trash.Wild Beasts will support the release of Boy King with a run of UK and European live dates in autumn 2016, including London’s Roundhouse on Tuesday 4th October. The dates follow summer festival appearances including a headline slot at Green Man Festival in August, with those dates preceded by two short residencies in Leeds and Brighton in July.
Venue pre-sale tickets for October’s Oxford and London headline shows are available today and on general sale from Thursday and Friday at 9am respectively. All other regional headline dates are on general sale now. Ticket info can be found via the band’s website HERE.