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Listen: HMLTD Return with ‘Wyrmlands’ and Announce New Album ‘The Worm’

HMLTD return with ‘Wyrmlands’ and announce new album ‘The Worm’.

Seeming to emerge from the hangover of David Bowie’s contorting vocals, the echoes of James Chance’s dissociative noise, and the Francis Bacon-esque screams of the kick-drum heartbeat, South London’s HMLTD return with a new stomping statement in their latest single ‘Wyrmlands’. The release accompanies the announcement of the group’s second album ‘The Worm’ set for release on April 7th via Lucky Number, as well as the news of two live shows at London’s ICA in May of this year. 

The single unloads a new itchy, cacophonous sound which seems at once far removed from their much-hyped sparkly take on glam-rock, as ‘Wyrmlands’ finds frontman Henry Spychalski’s lancing vocals surrounded by tensive sounds built on darting drums, eerie keys and smeared saxophone that gives way—appropriately—to an earworm of a final stretch. Gloriously disruptive moments of a parasitic quiet clash against cherry bombs of syncopated punk jazz assertions as Spychalski soliloquises with his signature voice, a clarion call to impotent “individuals stuck inside systems of power that they are powerless to change.” 

Fuelled by a fertile imagination, the concept of the album allegedly came to Spychalski during a fever dream back in 2020. Directing the single’s theatrical, percussive video as well, he introduces a viscera world where England has been swallowed by The Worm, regressing to a feudal medieval society. Framed by this spiritual quest to slay this níðhöggr, HMLTD soundtrack a delusion drizzled with bruised sonic shapes which have curdled into a new, wild sound that roots the band’s new direction firmly in rhizome entrails trying to tame a beast too big to fathom: ‘Wyrmlands’ signals a looming apocalypse whose labyrinthian chambers have consumed all that we know. 

Photo by Erika Denis-Febles

Issue Forty-One of So Young is out now and available to read in print here or as a digital magazine below.