(Warner) Royal Blood unveil their highly anticipated new album Back To The Water Below. The album is launched alongside a video for new single "Shiner In The Dark."
When Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher started work on Back To The Water Below, they cast aside any preconceptions of what their band could be. They allowed themselves the freedom to embrace other ideas, at times being guided by melodies rather than riffs and rhythms, and at others deploying whatever instrumentation they felt best complemented the songs. Key to achieving their creative liberation was the decision to produce the record entirely independently for the first time - not to mention, having the freedom to stroll down to their studio space near their homes in Brighton whenever a moment of inspiration struck. While everything had changed for Royal Blood over the course of the previous decade, the reason for forming the band was completely unchanged: the simple joy of Mike plugging in, Ben picking up his sticks, and the pair making a racket for the sheer fun of it.
Kerr says, "I think this record was about letting the ideas take us where they needed to go, and off the back of 'Typhoons,' we felt permission to go to those places with more confidence and knowledge of how to execute them. If there was a song that was calling us to do something that wasn't typically what we're known for, we felt more like that's where we were going to go. The songs are in charge and if that means having a record that is quite varied, that's what we were going to go for. As a result, we've made a rollercoaster of a record."
That rollercoaster ride has been demonstrated by the album's previous singles, "Mountains At Midnight" and "Pull Me Through." The new single "Shiner In The Dark" continues that unpredictable streak as it sets a rock 'n' roll swagger to the tight, danceable rhythms that pulsated throughout the Typhoons album. Meanwhile, the other songs on Back To The Water Below are just as essential. Devoid of distortion, "The Firing Line" represents a bigger departure, its '90s alt-rock tone and an underbelly of psychedelia later elevated by a chiming piano melody, while "Tell Me When It's Too Late" erupts into a maximalist wall-of-sound. It ends on a high with the ethereal "Waves," which opens with melancholy dream pop atmospherics before taking flight with an expansive shoegaze-tinged finale.
In addition to its digital release, Back To The Water Below is available on physical formats which include a Deluxe Edition marbled vinyl, complete with a signed insert and a bonus two-track 7" vinyl.