Asylums Announce London Headliner
Press Shot: Alistair Underwood
Southend’s brilliant asylums are back with their fourth album and a headline show in London to promote it. Or is the album out to promote the show? It’s hard to tell these days, but either way, Asylums have a big show in London AND a new album, so those two things are worth celebrating.
The latest single, ‘Signs of Life’, bears all the hallmarks of their previous work but is a bit slower, less frantic, and with more intelligible, singable lyrics. Whether that’s a positive thing, or not, is a matter for your personal taste but it certainly seems to be gaining attention for them and that, most certainly, is good to see. Go see them live if you’re in London in May.
More info and press blurb below.
Currently sitting on the Radio X playlist with their single “Signs of Life”, Southend based alt rock heros Asylums have announced their biggest London headline show to date. They will shake the foundations of OSLO in Hackney on May 27th 2023.
Tickets are available here
The world has changed, Asylums have changed…but one thing remains valid, making music is still an essential craft and serves as creative medicine for many musicians and listeners alike.
Recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios (in the same room Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody) with genre-bending ‘Manic Street Preachers’ producer Dave Eringa in the driving seat, ‘Signs Of Life’ is a record that evolves the Asylums' sound once again while still staying true to their musical and lyrical DNA.
Album opener and lead single ‘Scatterbrain’ comes out of the starting blocks like Dr Feelgood and The Jesus & Mary Chain gene-spliced with Richard III era Supergrass, urgent, pseudo sardonic but somehow still fun, it sets the tone for the whole album which was always intended to be life-affirming and joyous after a deeply reflective period.
Not since their much-loved single ‘Joy In A Small Wage’ have Asylums articulated their melodic and melancholic dimension so well – this time adding drummer Henry Tyler’s string arrangements into the mix. On ‘Instant Coffee’ the band entwine the fragile introspection of early Kurt Vile and Cat Power with the late 90’s song smithery of Blur and The Cardigans. The results are uplifting, soul searching and further evidence that Asylums are on top form.
“Making ‘Signs of Life’ was a total labour of love for us, it’s been a rough few years for most people and for us the writing, rehearsing, arranging, recording and the design of this album has just been something positive to escape into, connect us to one another and the outside world and ultimately share creativity. We hope it brings a little joy to anyone who might hear it because it was a joy to make” Luke Branch
Asylums ‘Signs Of Life’ draws inspiration from a spectrum of human emotions and examines how they intersected with technology during the accelerated change of the last few years. As well as dialling their manic rock sound up to 10, this record also draws from the likes of R.E.M., The Magnetic Fields and The Beatles who all arguably made some of their best work during a live hiatus.
Producer Dave Eringa on ‘Signs Of Life’:
“When Luke said he wanted to do an album at Rockfield in 8 days - all played live & to integrate big strings into their sound - it sounded so ridiculous I thought “let’s do this”! Only a band that can really play can do this kind of recording. No clicks, no tricks - all live off the floor, a few judicious overdubs, some amazing string arrangements from musical polymath Henry & a bizarre interruption from Countryfile - it was a pretty intense week and I couldn’t be prouder of them for what they achieved! They’ve really taken themselves to the next level!”
“Musically speaking we tried to broaden the edges slightly on this album, quite frankly we didn't know if we would ever get to play it live so exploring the studio felt apt. We brought in strings, piano, organ and other sounds but still tried to stay true to our artistic values. I personally like to think of this album as our ‘Rubber Soul’ (The Beatles) or maybe even our ‘Out of Time’ (R.E.M.)” - Luke Branch
Track Listing for ‘Signs Of Life’:
2. Understand The Psychology
3. Instant Coffee
4. Signs Of Life
5. Crypto Klepto
6. Erase The Edges
7. If You Can’t Join Them Beat Them
8. Say Goodbye Before You Die
9. Nursery Rhymes Against Humanity
10. Everybody Has A Space To Fill
11. Spat Out The Other Side
12. The Mirror