Last year, the noise artist Margaret Chardiet released Abandon, her debut album as Pharmakon. It was a searing piece of work that landed her spots on our lists of the Best New Artists Of 2013 and the 50 Best Albums Of 2013. It included only four songs and clocked in at barely more than 20 minutes, but it ended up being one of my very favorite albums of last year — and a year later, my admiration has only increased.
Now we have confirmation that Sacred Bones will release Beastial Burden, Pharmakon’s second album, this fall. According to the press release accompanying the announcement, Chardiet says inspiration for the album came last year, when her first European tour was cancelled due to a medical emergency. After major surgery and the removal of an unnamed organ she had gained a new perspective:
After seeing internal photographs taken during the surgery, I became hyperaware of the complex network of systems just beneath the skin, any of which were liable to fail or falter at any time. It all happened so fast and unexpectedly that my mind took a while to catch up to the reality of my recovery. I felt a widening divide between my physical and mental self. It was as though my body had betrayed me, acting as a separate entity from my consciousness. I thought of my corporeal body anthropomorphically, with a will or intent of its own, outside of my will’s control, and seeking to sabotage. I began to explore the idea of the conscious mind as a stranger inside an autonomous vessel, and the tension that exists between these two versions of the self.
The album was recorded with producer Sean Ragon, and though there is no music available, you can watch a trailer directed by Jacqueline Castel below.
Bestial Burden Track List:
02. “Intent Or Instinct”
03. “Body Betrays Itself”
04. “Primitive Struggle”
06. “Bestial Burden”
Bestial Burden is out 10/14 via Sacred Bones.