Boston ManorÂ today announce that their fourth studio albumÂ ‘Datura’Â will be released 14 October viaÂ SharpTone Records. The burgeoning British rock act have also released a new single -Â PassengerÂ – which introduces the recordâ€™s nighttime aesthetic with the kind of intense and unrestrained burst of an anthemic chorus for which the band have become known in recent years. Itâ€™s a song thatâ€™s both hopeful and energetic but also on the verge of emotional collapse.
Says guitaristÂ Mike CunniffÂ of the songâ€™s process: â€œIt’s really one of our favourite songs on the record. We’ve been jamming it in rehearsals a little bit and it just works so well live. It was a very stripped back approach to writing as well. We didn’t want to put too much stuff in it, which kind of leaves us feeling a little bit vulnerable and naked onstage, when there’s not too many things going on. It was the last song we wrote and recorded for the record, the final piece of the puzzle.“Â
‘Datura’, which is introduced by somewhat of a title trackÂ Datura (dusk)Â – revealed by the band in video form last week, pushes the limits and stretches the boundaries ofÂ Boston ManorÂ more than ever before, musically, lyrically, thematically and conceptually. 2018â€™sÂ ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’ and 2020â€™sÂ ‘GLUE’Â shifted the needle in terms ofÂ Boston Manorâ€™s sound, incorporating synths into their framework and a heavy focus on atmosphere. Coming off the back of last yearâ€™sÂ ‘Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures’Â EP,Â ‘Datura’Â takes all that one step further. The first of two parts, this set of songs exists in the dim light between dusk and dawn. Itâ€™s a record you donâ€™t just merely listen to, but one â€“ from the moment the sinister opening strains of first songÂ Datura (dusk)Â begin â€“ you actually inhabit and experience. Itâ€™s a record that envelops you, drags you into the dark shadows, leaves you cold, breathless, paranoid. The mood youâ€™ve just been submerged in is inspired by vocalistÂ Henry CoxÂ drinking too much during the height of the pandemic and the dark nights and darker mornings that followed.
The new album was recorded in Brixton withÂ Larry Hibbitt, theÂ Hundred Reasons guitarist / vocalist-turned-producer. â€œWe didnâ€™t really do any writing for almost all of 2020,â€ saysÂ Mike Cunniff, â€œand that gave us a bit of a reset. Through working with Larry, we found what we felt was the most concentrated essence of Boston Manor. The EP was the perfect jumping off point, and we wanted to carry on doing more of that. It feels a lot more refined â€“ we wanted fewer songs so that we could be a lot more intentional.â€
InÂ ‘Datura’,Â Boston ManorÂ have created a universe. That smouldering, ominous title track bleeds intoÂ 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 bothÂ FoxgloveÂ â€“ the albumâ€™s crunching, catchy first single, released back in April. By comparison,Â CrocusÂ starts off slowly, but builds with intention and energy, before fading out and then into the eerie, rain-laced cyber-punk instrumentalÂ Shelter From The Rain. It might not be a traditionalÂ Boston ManorÂ song, but itâ€™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. â€œBeyond a few on Welcome To The Neighbourhood, we havenâ€™t really done many interludes per se,â€ saysÂ Cox. â€œBut Iâ€™ve always enjoyed them. This one illustrates how itâ€™s like 4am at that point. It evokes loneliness and despair, but with a small sense of hope in it that things will get better â€“ 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. Theyâ€™re part of whatâ€™s happening on the record and can fully immerse themselves into the world weâ€™ve created. And that then takes you into â€˜Inertiaâ€™, which kind of closes the record. Thatâ€™s a love song, but itâ€™s about hope for the future as well.â€
â€œI want people to connect with the themes of this album,â€ says Cox. â€œNot so much in terms of it being so specific to me â€“ although I hope they appreciate the vulnerability in it â€“ 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 weâ€™re living in at the moment. So as much as I was writing about my problems, I hope people can find solace in it.â€
Boston ManorÂ exploded back onto the returning live music scene in 2021 with powerful sets at Download Pilot, Reading & Leeds and Slam Dunk Festivals, as well as a tour as main support toÂ Neck DeepÂ in North America. The band have hit the ground touring in 2022 with a sold out UK headline tour in February, hitting Brixton Electric in London, and a headline stint in North America. They were also main support toÂ Neck DeepÂ in Europe in between playing at numerous European and UK Festivals this summer including Rock Am Ring and Download, with 2000Trees this weekend being the culmination of a busy run.Â Boston ManorÂ are on tour with AlexisonfireÂ on their UK and European tour later this year.
Passenger is out now – STREAM HERE
‘Datura’ will be released on 14 October via SharpTone Records
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With thanks to Dallas Does PR