This is one that is going to need some heavy rotation on the Friend Rock Stereo before it finally sinks in. A record so complex and intricate that on first listen left me feeling dizzy, bewildered and drained. I felt like time had passed yet I couldn’t quite recollect what had happened. You know when people claim they’ve been abducted by aliens and lost track of what they’ve done for the last few minutes/hours? Well, they havn’t. They’ve just been listening to These New Puritans.
It seems like there is absolutely no rhyme, reason or structure to this record at all. Part trip hop, part Sufjan in classical mode (see our review of the outstanding B.Q.E), part Bloc Party, part demonic horror movie soundtrack, it sounds like absolutely nothing I’ve heard before, yet at the same time completely familiar. The best analogy I can think of is that if you imagine find every piece of music that has ever been written, and play it all at once, you’d probably get something pretty similar to Hidden.
With influences ranging from caveman-inspired drum rhythms, to medieval chanting, through to classical symphonic melodies and electronic beats, this album is essentially a postmodern deconstruction of what music itself is. More than a record. A true work of art. Bigger than the iPod, bigger than the stereo. This should be heard in galleries.
An early contender for album of the year.
Hidden is released on 18th January on Angular Records. They play The Deaf Institute on 3rd February.