This is the album Animal. For many albums, the thematic tying together of a group of songs into a conceptual whole is often done outside the realm of thought and reason and therefore can’t often be pinned down in words alone. We can’t say exactly where the title came from. What we can say is that the idea of the animal within was a recurring theme throughout the song-writing process, as well as being an undercurrent to our personal lives. The extent to which we are all just animals with drives, urges and instincts was a question that particularly interested us.
It is fascinating that we, as human beings capable of love, kindness, creativity and incredibly nuanced and complex thought are often in the same moment dealing with base drives, desires and hungers to be fed and satisfied; that we seemingly have a mind that is both a treasure and a torment; a mind that can equally throw up the twisted and perverted alongside the good and the Godly.
There is clearly something more to us than just the need to survive. We have the capacity to operate as something greater than just the animal, but we are both within one vessel and we are left to live with and balance these often-conflicting aspects of our existence.
I believe we can rise above the Animal but the Animal cannot be conquered or even neglected. The album is structured to reflect this with a move from dark to light: an evolution of the Animal. The start is abrasive, immediate and basic whereas the end is more delicate, dynamic and complex in structure. It is intended that the listener feels a level of discomfort with the start of the album as we want them to work through it, as we work through our own base urges and desires to reach something of more substance, something higher. There is also playfulness and love in this album but there is a flow between these and the darker elements, a connectedness as there is within all of us.
Alongside this, the album has been quartered into separate bundles of tracks, which we are calling the 4 Stages of the Animal. These stages are ‘Hunting’, ‘Lurking’, ‘Resting’ and ‘Waking’. Being a double vinyl each of these stages will have its own vinyl side. This way each vinyl side will be its own self-contained unit and can be listened to as so if preferred. The vinyl will not be marked with a chronological order. We intend this to emphasize a lack of a fixed starting point. In this way the album can start at whatever side of vinyl is placed down first. This cut up way of listening can be seen to work against the flow from dark to light as mentioned earlier but it is intended to emphasize the continual movement between these elements. The artwork has a parallel agenda. It may provoke an immediate reaction of disdain or even disgust. There is not meant to be a ‘right way up’, it is designed to disorient as well as reinforce the idea of no fixed starting point and thus a continuity.
We believe this is our most challenging album yet. It certainly was in many ways the most challenging album we’ve ever made. Many listeners may not be able to get past the artwork or perhaps the first few tracks but we want it to be all the more rewarding for those who do.