The fifth IDLES album, TANGK, is a tonic for turbulent times; a record about love, joy, and indeed gratitude for the mere opportunity of existence. Lead singer Joe Talbot says he needed love, so he made it…
IDLES are releasing their fifth album TANGK on 16 February via Partisan Records. This 11-track follow-up to the Grammy-nominated album CRAWLER has been co-produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, The Smile, Beck), the band’s Mark Bowen and Kenny Beats (Denzel Curry, Vince Staples, Benee).
In an explosive run of unerringly stirring albums, TANGK – pronounced ‘tank’ with a whiff of the ‘g’ and an onomatopoeic reference to the lashing way the band imagined the guitars sounding that has grown into a sort of sigil for living in love – is the band’s most ambitious and striking record yet.
Formed in Bristol, IDLES are one of rock’s most powerful units to emerge from the last decade. With this record, Godrich, Beats and Bowen have pushed the band into new terrain, pulling in the reins as needed. TANGK is at once sprawling and focused, imaginative and immediate.
Speaking about the album, lead singer Joe Talbot says: “I needed love. So I made it. I gave love out to the world and it feels like magic. This is our album of gratitude and power. All love songs. All is love.”
The first single released from the album was the throbbing, scuzzy tune Dancer. Rattling bass and ricocheting guitar give Talbot space to talk about sweat and sex on the dancefloor. (You will spy LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Nancy Whang in the music video, too, singing.) It is lascivious and playful and positive, the ecstatic sound of at least a temporary fix. In the improvised hook, Talbot offers IDLES’ essential new mantra: “I give myself to you/As long as you move on the floor.” He is singing about the rapture of a new relationship, but he is also singing about the special dynamic between IDLES and their fans, as well as IDLES and the world at large.
This is a band’s vow to keep lifting and fighting for themselves and their listeners, to keep offering the grim persistence of joy and hope and love and wonder as long as that’s what anyone needs to survive. It is a love song the same way that TANGK is a love album – open to anyone who requires something to shout out loud in order to fend off any encroaching sense of the void, now or forever.
Where IDLES were once set on squaring off with strong jaws against the perennially entitled, and exorcising personal trauma in real time, they have now arrived in this new act to offer the fruits of such perseverance: love, joy, and indeed gratitude for the mere opportunity of existence.
This music thrives not in spite of our problems but because of them. If we don’t look after ourselves and one another, as every song on the new album seems to exclaim in one enormous hook after another, then who will?
IDLES are also embarking on a world tour, starting this month in Porto. The band is playing a homecoming gig at The Marble Factory in Bristol on 17 February. For more information about the new album and remaining tour dates, visit idlesband.com