black midi announce Cavalcade, their new album out May 28th on Rough Trade, and today offer its lead single/video, “John L.” Cavalcade is a dynamic, hellacious, and inventive follow-up to 2019’s widely-praised Schlagenheim, “a labyrinth with hairpin-turn episodes and lyrics full of dourly corrosive observations” (New York Times, Best Albums of 2019). It scales beautiful new heights, pulling widely from a plethora of genres and influences, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements. black midi — Geordie Greep (guitar, primary vocals), Cameron Picton (bass, vocals), and Morgan Simpson (drums) — picture Cavalcade as a line of larger than life figures, from a cult leader fallen on hard times and an ancient corpse found in a diamond mine to legendary cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich, strolling seductively past them. “When you’re listening, you can imagine all the characters form a sort of cavalcade. Each tells their story one by one and as each track ends they overtake you, replaced by the next in line,” comments Picton.
Album opener “John L” has a massive sound, driven by some gutsy Discipline-era King Crimson thrust, and energy wrought by the inclusion of Jerskin Fendrix on violin. The group tease the raging track to the point of nonexistence before leading it through caverns of reverb and gauzy snareskin landscapes, just for it to return, hitting hard as hell once more. The story painted is a jet black comedy about what happens to cult leaders when their followers turn on them. Its equally tremendous video was directed by choreographer Nina McNeely, known for her work on Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer” and Gaspar Noe’s Climax.
Last week, US indie retailers collectively curated a list of 10 songs for black midi to consider for a cover. Beginning today through March 25th, fans can vote for their favorite potential cover on black midi’s website. There will be 5 uniquely curated polls, resulting in 5 unique flexi disc options; one each for US indies, UK indies, Tower Records in Japan, Rough Trade stores and International. A limited amount of standard album pre-orders will come with the market-specific flexi.