Bristol UK’s IDLES have announced today their forthcoming fifth album, TANGK. The 11-track followup to their Grammy-nominated CRAWLER, TANGK was 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 this band’s most ambitious and striking record yet.
IDLES are one of rock’s most powerful units for the last decade. Godrich, Beats and Bowen made for an excellent tandem of foils to IDLES, too, pushing them into new terrain and then pulling the reins as needed. TANGK is at once sprawling and focused, imaginative and immediate.
Speaking about the album, lead singer Joe Talbot says, "TANGK. 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.”
Out now is the first single and video for the throbbing and scuzzy “Dancer”. Rattling bass and ricocheting guitar giving Talbot space to talk about sweat and sex on the dancefloor. (You will spy LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Nancy Whang here, 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, or 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.
Joe Talbot tells us "’Dancer’ is the violence that comes from the pounding heart of the dancefloor and rushes through your body and gives you life from music, from love and from you."
Where IDLES were once set on taking the world’s piss, squaring off with strong jaws against the perennially entitled, and exorcizing personal trauma in real time, they have 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, all of TANGK seems to exclaim in one enormous hook after another, who will?
TANGK track list:
- IDEA 01
- Gift Horse
- POP POP POP
- A Gospel
- Hall & Oates