Part of what has made the rise of the transfixing UK group Black Midi so intriguing is the fact that they did it with so little music. Their reputation grew by word of mouth based on their blistering and shape-shifting live sets; as of yesterday, they’d managed a buzzy SXSW run and sold out NYC gigs with just two singles out in the world, “BmBmBm” and “Speedway.” (The latter ranked amongst our favorite songs of the week when it came out earlier this year.)
The recent Band To Watch had also announced a deal with Rough Trade upon the release of “Speedway,” which certainly seemed to suggest more music would finally be on the way sooner than later. And today, Black Midi have returned with a new single called “Crow’s Perch.”
“BmBmBm” and “Speedway” already displayed different sides of this band: one an explosive, histrionic exercise in tension and release, the other possessing a funk both mechanistic and spaced-out. “Crow’s Perch” is different than both of those, as well, though its nature might be more familiar to those who have seen Black Midi’s shows and gotten a sense of their other material. The song is a great example of how this band manages to apply the technical focus of their musical training and the rigid aesthetics of post-punk to compositions that unspool with traces of experimental jazz or the most elusive krautrock. Like many Black Midi songs, “Crow’s Perch” rises and falls a couple times over, before arriving at a finale of acerbic guitars and climactic yells from Geordie Greep.
The new track comes with a video directed and edited by Vilhjálmur Yngvi
Hjálmarsson, who also goes by susan_creamcheese. Like the clip for “Speedway,” it throws a bunch of different found imagery and settings together. Fittingly for music as hard to pin down as Black Midi’s, it doesn’t cohere into a narrative — instead it’s a flurry of different ideas and scenes, colliding together. Check it out below.
“Crow’s Perch” is out now via Rough Trade.