Let’s face it. 2020 in many ways has been, well, total bollocks hasn’t it. Music has done its best to come to the rescue as it often does, with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, Coldbones and Sertraline to name just a few UK acts releasing excellent music at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But a series of announcements over the last week or so has seen British heavy music set up some things to very much look forward between now and the first part of next year.
While She Sleeps were first off the blocks. A mysterious announcements to their mailing list telling everyone to tune in for a “press conference” Thursday afternoon with no clues as to what was coming. Twitter stressed about a possible breakup or the departure of frontman Loz Taylor; thankfully neither was forthcoming. Instead the announcement of a brand new album, Sleeps Society (coming April 2021), the title track from the album with it’s press conference styled music video, and the announcement of the Sleeps Society itself. Presenting a fan powered model for the band using Patreon, the Sleeps Society is a far cry from the ingenious new model some have called it – other bands from Protest The Hero to Halflives have been doing it at varying levels of success for years.
Regardless of how “new” the concept is, the Sleeps Society has proven to be a huge success. Over 2,000 sign ups in the first week paying anywhere from a fiver a month to the upper (limited subscriptions) at 60 quid have enabled the band to generate enough funds to pay not only themselves, but three of their road crew to help manage the society going forwards. While She Sleeps have also announced a tour of intimate venues in May 2021 (COVID permitting of course), with tickets available to society members before anyone else.
Architects were next to the party. The Brighton riff lords dropped new single Animals out of nowhere on Tuesday morning. With a stomping main riff, and an approach that feels slightly like the bastard love child of Gojira and Bring Me The Horizon, Animals lit up the Internet. That news was followed this morning by the announcement of Architects’ upcoming album For Those That Wish To Exist, which will land at the end of February 2021.
Slightly less heavy than their counterparts but with no less of an impact, Holding Absence also decided to get in on the party this morning. The Cardiff natives dropped “Beyond Belief“, the first single to emerge from their eagerly awaited second album The Greatest Mistake Of My Life – which ironically will be released the exact same day as While She Sleeps’ new record Sleeps Society. The new single is on the melodic end of what we’ve heard from Lucas Woodland and the boys up until now, but with all of the usual Holding Absence hooks. All we can say on that is, other bands may wish to avoid releasing anything that week!
Times are tough for a lot of people at the moment, but all of this new music from homegrown artists at different stages of their career will give many of us things to look forward to. Add in the announcement of the imminent surprise new EP from Bring Me The Horizon and recent new singles from the likes of As Everything Unfolds, COVID may be stopping us from experiencing music in the flesh, but there’s some great new stuff both here now and on the way.