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IDLES Release Single “Grounds” and Announce Third Album, Ultra Mono

Live on Steve Lamacq’s show on the UK station, BBC Radio 6 on Tuesday 16 June, Joe Talbot, frontman of IDLES announced the new release of “Grounds,” the second single from the highly anticipated third album, Ultra Mono, from the Bristol-based band.

Some IDLES fans are familiar with the track as it was one the band played at their Alexandra Palace gig on 7 December 2019 (along with “War” and “Danke”). So you might have thought that the lyrics to “Grounds” were written with the current state of affairs in mind. But no, if anything you could say the lyrics to the track were prophetic. At the very least, it’s the perfect track to sum up what is happening in the world right now. It’s always been a problem, but now something is happening isn’t it? It feels like there’s a storm coming…

Lyrics by Joe Talbot, video by Rob French

You will not catch me staring at the sun
Not sucking on a dum dum
Not turning round to run
No Hallelujahs and no kingdom comes
So you will not catch me staring at the sun
Do you hear that thunder?
That’s the sound of strength in numbers

Fee fee fi fi fo fo fum I smell the blood of a million sons
A million daughters from a hundred thousand guns
Not taught by our teachers
On our curriculum
Do you hear that thunder?
That’s the sound of strength in numbers

I am I
Unify

Not a single thing has ever been mended
By you standing there and saying you’re offended
Go ahead, tell them what I’ve intended
I’ll say what I mean, do what I love
And f*cking send it
Do you hear that thunder?
That’s the sound of strength in numbers

There’s nothing brave and nothing useful
You scrawling your aggro shit on the walls of the cubicle
Saying my race and class ain’t suitable
So I raise my pink fist and say black is beautiful
Do you hear that thunder?
That’s the sound of strength in numbers

I am I
Unify
I am I
Unify, Unify, Unify

Do you hear that thunder?

Joe Talbot said about “Grounds”: “We wanted to write a song that embodied self-belief, and gave us self-belief—a counter-punch to all the doubt we build up from all the noise we so easily let in. We wanted to make the sound of our own hearts’ marching band, armed with a jackhammer and a smile. We wanted to make the sound of our engine starting. So we did. Thank you.”

Ahead of the album release, IDLES will also host a series of three live performances from an iconic studio on Aug 29-30, which will be professionally recorded, filmed, and live-streamed. Upon purchase of a ticket, attendees will receive a unique link to access the performance live. Tickets are on sale now, with more info and link to purchase HERE. Shortly after the announcement was made, the IDLES website crashed—those pesky kids from the AF GANG were at it again (it’s a running joke now that IDLES fans crash everything: ticket sites, Minecraft…). That, my friends, is the sound of strength in numbers.

Ultra Mono artwork

Recorded in Paris and produced by Nick Launay and Adam “Atom” Greenspan, with Kenny Beats providing additional programming, Ultra Mono was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record. Reportedly, across all 12 brutally relevant tracks, IDLES are relentless, with the vitriol and blunt social commentary of their past work, themes of active presence, inclusivity, class, gender inequality, nationalism, community, and toxic masculinity remaining firm.

Ultra Mono also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages) and additional guest contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow, and Jamie Cullum.

The phrase “momentary acceptance of the self” serves as a spiritual guide and mantra throughout, as Joe elaborates on further in the notes printed inside the album’s physical packaging.

Joe Talbot words on Ultra Mono new Idles album page 1 Ultra Mono page 2

IDLES Ultra Mono album logo

The Ultra Mono tracklist is as follows:

    1. War
    2. Grounds (Out now)
    3. Mr Motivator (Out now)
    4. Anxiety
    5. Kill Them With Kindness
    6. Model Village (the fourth single, being released 11 August)
    7. Ne Touche Pas Moi (feat. Jehnny Beth)
    8. Carcinogenic
    9. Reigns (the fifth single, being released 8 September)
    10. The Lover
    11. A Hymn (the third single, being released 14th July)
    12. Danke

“Grounds” is available to purchase or download now. IDLES’s Ultra Mono album arrives 25 September via Partisan Records and is available to pre-order now. If the first two singles from the album are anything to go by, IDLES are going to storm ahead as leaders of the scene and their music will be the soundtrack to 2020 with all its rage and fire, and hope and determination. It’s coming. A call to arms has been raised.

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Written by Laura Stewart

Laura is the Assistant Editor-In-Chief, a Writer and Assistant to the Webmaster at 25YL. She has been part of the team since May 2017 when she began writing about her favourite TV show of all time: Twin Peaks. She currently oversees the Film, Music and Gaming Departments. 25YL is her passion project and is constantly delighted at how big and beautiful it has grown.

Laura lives by the sea in Gower, Wales, with her husband and very special little boy.

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