Porcupine Tree return with first new single in 12 years, Harridan

Steven Wilson
(Image credit: Guy Prives/Getty Images)

UK prog rock trio Porcupine Tree have ended their decade-long musical hiatus and returned with their first new single in 12 years, Harridan.

The track, which was written shortly after the release of the band’s previous LP – 2009’s The Incident – is the first single to be lifted from the group’s newly announced studio record, Closure/Continuation, which will arrive June 24 next year.

It’s an effortless continuation form for the three-piece – composed of electric guitar and bass guitar player Steven Wilson, keyboardist and sound designer Richard Barbieri and drummer Gavin Harrison – who mark their long-awaited return with some irresistible bass grooves and melodic percussion patterns.

For Wilson, it also marks a return to some conventional six-string composition, having made a significant stylistic departure on his most recent solo record, The Future Bites, earlier this year, which saw the guitar being utilized as an ancillary, secondary instrument rather than a focal point.

Speaking to Guitar World, Wilson explained his experimental approach to the guitar by saying he using the instrument “more like a painter than a player”, and that he adopted it in “a more textural aesthetic than a typically muso one”.

On the eight-minute Harridan, however, Wilson offers up some sumptuous six-string lines characterized by an eclectic smorgasbord of cavernous acoustic guitar strums, angsty overdriven lead stabs and modulated none-more-prog melodies.

In a statement, Porcupine Tree commented, “Harridan and a few of the other new songs have been in play since shortly after the release of The Incident. They initially lived on a hard drive in a slowly growing computer file marked PT2012, later renamed PT2015, PT2018, and so on. 

Porcupine Tree Closure/Continuation album cover

(Image credit: Porcupine Tree)

“There were times when we even forgot they were there,” the band continued, “and times when they nagged us to finish them to see where they would take us. 

“Listening to the finished pieces, it was clear that this wasn’t like any of our work outside of the band – the combined DNA of the people behind the music meant these tracks were forming what was undeniably, unmistakably, obviously a Porcupine Tree record. You’ll hear all of that DNA flowing right through Harridan.”

Accompanying the announcement of Closure/Continuation is the news that Porcupine Tree will embark on a tour of Europe and the UK next year, updates for which can be found on the band's website.

  • Closure/Continuation is available to preorder now via Music For Nations/Megaforce Records ahead of its June 24 release.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff 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.