“If you’re going to sing something, it might as well be something important,” says The Black Angels’ lead singer Alex Maas.
The band will come to Troxy in August with Death Song, their first new album in four years and their most fully realised work to date, making waves.
Part protest, part emotional catharsis this is a troubled record for troubled times in their USA homeland, and in that sense it’s classic Black Angels.
“Our music has always been driven by the fear of the unknown and what’s to come,” explains Maas. “Growing up in Texas, in the Bible Belt, you’d have this feeling as a kid in church on Sundays that your whole entire world was just hanging by a string.”
Death Song is a record which tells the story of what happens when that string snaps. Volatile guitars and powerful percussion meet lyrics of distrust and disgust.
Exploring enduring themes such as attraction and self-loathing, greed and desire, faith and brutality, this is The Black Angels’ most political record since Passover, their 2006 debut LP.
Produced by Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins), Death Song looks set to cement the band’s place as pioneers of neo-psych rock and one of the most important acts exporting music from the USA.
And if their music grabbed peoples’ attention, their live shows take things to another level. “They play psychedelic rock as if the 1960’s never ended, and they are absolute masters of it,” wrote the New York Times.
The Black Angels even founded their own festival – Levitation – which has grown from its 2008 foundations to become one of the best-reviewed and most expertly curated musical gatherings in the USA, hosting everyone from Brian Wilson to the Jesus and Mary Chain.
Get ready to see one of the most powerful live acts performing anywhere in London this year when The Black Angels land at Troxy in August.
“You can use art to show people how you think the world should be,” Maas explains. “You can encourage them to dream what you dream and feel what you feel. If people act on those dreams and give them meaning, artists have the power to change the way the world thinks.”