London-based band Black Doldrums are today sharing ‘Into Blue’, the second single to be lifted from their newly announced debut album ‘Dead Awake’ due out March 11th on Fuzz Club Records. Produced by Jared Artaud (The Vacant Lots, Alan Vega), the album arrives following two sold-out EPs (most recently 2019’s ‘She Divine’) and tour-dates around the UK, EU and US. Originally a duo founded by Sophie Landers (drums) and Kevin Gibbard (guitar/vocals) but now recently fleshed out to a trio with Matt Holt joining on bass, Black Doldrums deal in a dark, shoegazing psych that melds gothic post-punk with a leather-clad rock’n’roll spirit.
‘Into Blue’ is a euphoric and slow-burning cut written for all of the wall-of-sound-loving romantics out there. Acting as a follow-up to an unreleased song he wrote when he was younger, Kevin says of ‘Into Blue’: “It’s an honest retrospective look at a certain period of time for me that’s brought right into the now with lyrics such as ‘And all the while as if to make me smile she was there’. That line refers to a twist of fate as it’s about a chance meeting between myself and Sophie after living and growing up right down the road from each other the whole time. The imagery of ‘Into Blue’ I think means to follow someone and be with someone into an afterlife or eternity.”
Having cultivated a die-hard following in the UK psych underground, Kevin and Sophie set to work on their long-awaited debut album in 2020. Their original plans were to travel to New York to record the album with Jared Artaud of fellow label-mates The Vacant Lots. However, the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns and travel restrictions inevitably put a stop to that. Instead, they recorded the album in London with Artaud producing and mixing the album remotely from Brooklyn. “It made for an interesting collaboration as the distance could have been an obstacle”, Sophie recalls, “but it actually helped creativity as we were more inclined to stay in touch and have really decent phone calls at length, discussing the songs in a lot of detail. We really enjoyed those conversations with Jared about music and all of our influences. I think you can hear on the record that it is a full collaboration.”
The more collaborative effort of ‘Dead Awake’ finds Black Doldrums switching gears and adopting a cleaner, more precise creative approach than that of their earlier material. “The idea was to be absolutely brutal with our songs and cut them down to what we only felt was necessary”, Sophie remembers: “Up until this point we had been experimenting and were happy with what we had created but we no longer felt the need to hide behind too much reverb and an excessive amount of guitars. It still sounds like us but it has all the elements needed to stand the test of time.” The result is an album that feels colder and more stripped back – the effects are still there but stripped down to their fundamentals so that the songs themselves take precedence over any wall-of-sound deliria.