Releasing a debut album is never easy. But after a critically-acclaimed EP, and six consecutive single additions to BBC Radio 6 Music’s playlist, the pressure is bound to be seismic. Worse still when faced with crippling perfectionism and a lengthy pandemic; “making music can often feel pretty unimportant; some folks are firefighters while I spend all my time massaging my own ego,” confesses vocalist Chris Bailey.
Ironically, it’s this disillusionment with the importance of being a musician and the resulting inability to write that has produced Do Nothing’s long-awaited debut album, ‘Snake Sideways;, which will be released on 30th June.
The latest single ‘Amoeba’ follows ‘Happy Feet’ which interrupted an almost two-year silence since their celebrated EP, ‘Glueland’ (March 2021). Having returned with a softer sound and a vulnerable declaration of the lack of control we have in our lives in ‘Happy Feet’, ‘Amoeba’ traces a similar narrative thrust but plays with a darker, no less melodic sound. Making full use of their trademark choppy guitar riffs and immediately recognisable drum beats, a more twisted and unnerving rhythm emerges.
Where ‘Happy Feet’ communicates the frustration of overthinking the creative process, ‘Amoeba’ is its destruction. Taking its name from single-celled microbes that ‘crawl’ using pseudopodia (‘false feet’ in Latin) and cause a range of fatal human diseases – the most famous of which is dubbed the ‘brain-eating amoeba’ – the single writhes and stutters into being. The accompanying video by Clump Collective sees Bailey transformed into a green lizard-like (uninvited) life drawing model, whose jarring movements mirror the rhythmic clashing hi-hats before he turns to violence, tearing canvases apart. Giving voice to the destructive nature of idleness and perfectionism, Bailey explains, “‘Amoeba’ is about my girlfriend leaving the house to go to work and be useful, and me laying on the sofa watching news on TV.” It encapsulates the angst of creativity and rages against the often inadequate expectations for constant productivity.
Stepping away from the self-imposed pressure to constantly evolve has allowed for a triumphant return. If the current offering is anything to go by, the album is set to do exactly what Do Nothing do best.
Pre order ‘Snake Sideways’ here.
Photo by Adrian Vitelleschi Cook
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