As Forest Swords, UK producer Matthew Barnes makes murky, genre-agnostic music that sounds like it would be playing during some mystical ancient ritual. After nearly four years of silence, Barnes returned a few weeks ago with new single “The Highest Flood,” and now he’s announced that it’s part of a whole new album titled Compassion, which will be followed later this year by a number of multidisciplinary projects spanning the fields of contemporary dance, performance art, and film.
The announcement comes with a new song called “Arms Out,” an almost-instrumental that smears its drones and rhythms with indecipherable vocals and climaxes with a transcendent orchestral arrangement. The video, directed by Sam Wiehl and Barnes himself, depicts what appears to be an actual mystical ancient ritual, and, like many of the best Forest Swords videos, it centers largely on a single dancer. Watch, listen, and find Compassion’s album art and tracklist below.
01 “War It”
02 “The Highest Flood”
05 “Border Margin Barrier”
06 “Arms Out”
09 “Raw Language”
10 “Knife Edge”
Compassion is out 5/5 via Ninja Tune. Pre-order it here.