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Black Midi unleash new single John L, announce upcoming album, Cavalcade

Geordie Greep of Black Midi
(Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns)

Black Midi – champions of a unique style of experimental electric guitar-driven post-rock – have announced their eagerly awaited second full-length album Cavalcade, along with the lead single from the upcoming record, John L.

The eagerly awaited Cavalcade will be the four-piece band’s second full-length studio outing, following on from their debut album Schlangheim, which was released in 2019.

Alongside lead single John L, the band dropped an animated music video that serves as a “jet black comedy about what happens to cult leaders when their followers turn on them”. The video, which you can watch below, was directed by Nina McNeely, whose credits include Rihanna’s Sledgehammer and Gaspar Noe’s Climax.

Boasting the band’s celebrated style of guitar-infused experimentation, John L is suited to boot with dissonant piano chimes, weaving hypnotic vocals, a cacophony of string sounds, and an edge-of-the-seat dynamic range, spanning from complete silence to raucous, high-energy midsections.

After spending much of the track playing support to the monumental instrumentation in the form of rapid-fire strums and hard-panned strikes, the guitar takes center stage, playing around with some chromatic runs and tritone stabs for added emphasis.

A decidedly tamer b-side track, Despair, was also released, which ditches the raucous instrumentation in favor of an intricate fingerpicking guitar.

Speaking of John L, which was produced by John ‘Spud’ Murphy, Black Midi guitarist and frontman Geordie Greep said, “We wanted a natural, open sound combined with fourth wall breaks – for lack of a better expression.”

Drummer Morgan Simpson elaborates, revealing that “the experience this time round was completely the flipside to Schlagenheim”, and that “a lot of the material was really fresh, but that was something that played into our hands”.

With original guitarist/vocalist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin taking time away from music to focus on his mental health, Cavalcade recruits additional help in the form of saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi and keys player Seth Evans.

Cavalcade is available to preorder now, and will be released on May 28.

Black Midi Cavalcade

(Image credit: Black Midi)
Matt Owen

Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.