Savages are back with a vengeance, announcing their return with blistering new single The Answer, a teasing trailer video for new album Adore Life and a string of UK live dates, including a special show at the 100 Club in January.
The Quartet: Jehnny Beth (vocals), Ayşe Hassan (bass), Fay Milton (drums) and Gemma Thompson (guitar) warmed up for their British tour with an appearance at the Day of the Dead Festival at London’s Tobacco Docks on Saturday (7 Nov) alongside Crystal Fighters, The Horrors, ZOE and others.
The follow-up to their Mercury Prize-nominated debut Silence Yourself, Savages say Adore Life is “about change and the power to change”.
In what amounts to something of a manifesto, the band go on to say the record’s “about sticking to your guns and toughing it out. It’s about now, not tomorrow. It’s about recognising your potential.
“It’s about finding the poetry and avoiding the cliché. It’s about being the solution, not the problem. It’s about showing weakness to be strong. It’s about digging through your dirt to look for diamonds. It’s about claiming your right to think unacceptable thoughts. It’s about boredom and the things we do to drive it away. It’s about being on your own so you can be with people. It’s about knowing what it means to be human and what it might mean one day. It’s about the parts and the sum of the parts.
“It’s about the music and the message: together, one and the same. It’s about bass, guitars, drums and vocals. It’s about opening-out and never, ever dying. But most of all it’s about love, every kind of love. Love is the answer.”
Heady stuff indeed and if that’s not enough to whet you appetite the band have released this trailer, with former Black Flag hardcore heavyweight Henry Rollins voicing text from Jazz Cleopatra: Josephine Baker in her time by Phyllis Rose.
The album is scheduled for release on 22 January and, if The Answer is anything to go by, it should be a hell of a ride.
A pulsating assault on the senses, The Answer is three and a half minutes of unrestrained aggression, Jehnny Beth urgently entreating, or should that be warning “If you don’t love me, don’t love anybody”.
Driven by a Stooges-style riff, the song hits you like a left hook to the jaw and never lets up, with a feverish punk energy most bands these days can only dream of.
The accompanying video (see below) sees Savages surrounded by their fans, sharing their sweat, saliva and sheer unbridled joy at the performance.
As the band say: “We’ve observed our audience all around the world and noticed that something is happening. People want to be pushed to do good, or to be good, or just to feel good. We wanted a very intense video, that felt like banging your head against the wall, focusing on our audience: a portrait of our crowd, an homage to music lovers and the good people who are coming to gigs and shouting their lungs out or just smiling at the back.
“We were touched by them every night, and wanted to get their message out there: loud guitar music is still alive and still connects people.”
Mission accomplished, I’d say.
Savages’ special morning show starts at 8am on Tuesday, 26 January at London’s 100 Club. There are just 300 spaces available. You can pre-order the album and gain access to the show (strictly on a first come first served basis) by visiting this link.