IDLES are a politically charged punk band from Bristol with a new album called Joy as an Act of Resistance. — the period is part of the title — so it only makes sense that they’d end up on a record label called Partisan. They are a band fond of lofty statements, such as the one frontman Joe Talbot issued that repeatedly compares the new album to a parade. (One choice quote: “It is a parade of naivety, of a warm embrace, it is Young Thug’s dress. ”) And in the video for new single “Danny Nedelko,” they’ve got another statement on their hands.
The song itself, a bit of righteous post-punk agitprop that morphs into something like a soccer chant along the way, is a tribute to the immigrants that have taken so much heat from nationalists across Europe and America lately. “My blood brother is an Immigrant/ A beautiful immigrant,” Talbot sings before kicking out references to Freddie Mercury, Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah, and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. As for title star Danny Nedelko, whose name becomes the song refrain, he’s a close friend of the band’s who hails from Ukraine.
Nedelko himself stars in the IDLES-directed video, which finds him briefly parodying “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and posing for pictures with immigrants of many stripes while wearing a T-shirt that reads, “NO ONE IS AN ISLAND.” In every shot, he flashes the “OK” hand gesture, which lately has been co-opted by white supremacists. This seems like a clear attempt to take the gesture back. Nedelko is a total ham, and his charisma carries the concept to success. Watch below, where you can also find the video for Joy as an Act of Resistance. opener “Colossus.”
02 “Never Fight A Man With A Perm”
03 “I’m Scum”
04 “Danny Nedelko”
05 “Love Song”
10 “Gram Rock”
11 “Cry To Me”
Joy as an Act of Resistance. is out 8/31 on Partisan. Pre-order it here.