Squid – “Match Bet”
Since signing to Dan Carey’s singles label Speedy Wunderground, Squid have solidified their standing as an extremely fun and fascinating UK indie export. The buzzy London-by-way-of-Brighton quintet will be releasing an EP this fall called Town Centre. We’ve already heard one track from that project — the wiry, seven minute groove titled “The Cleaner,” which we named one of the best songs of that week. Today we get to hear another new one called “Match Bet.”
According to a press release, this song was written at guitarist Anton Pearson’s parents house in Norfolk. Vocalist and guitarist Louis Borlase was inspired by the Don Edwards song “Coyotes” from the Grizzly Man soundtrack, and wrote an open chord fingerpicking pattern. This pattern introduces the track, giving the illusion that this jaunt might be quieter or calmer. The vocals are thrown about playfully in a sing-speak style reminiscent of Fred Schneider of the B-52’s — but, much like the instrumentation, they eventually erupt into chaotic squawking in the chorus.
That melodic guitar pattern grounds everything within the swirl of brass and chugging percussion, basically serving as the anchor in a vortex. Like “The Cleaner,” “Match Bet” also manages to incorporate cowbell into its tumultuous-yet-tight rhythm. There’s also an exceedingly well-used cornet arrangement. It’s a fun listen, and really illustrates this band’s capacity for smart writing and orchestration.
Here’s drummer and lead vocalist Ollie Judge with more context on the track:
“Match Bet” revolves around a character that lives within the same universe as “The Cleaner.” The song is told from the perspective of a Sonic Youth super fan living with mental illness, who was a regular at a shop I used to work in. His harmless demeanor and manic, long conversations about gambling, his relationship with Her Majesty The Queen, and love for Sonic Youth were extremely helpful for me in that period of my life. I found it interesting how his manic-ness opened me up a bit in a time where I could have quite easily just blended into the paintwork and kept quiet.
Listen to “Match Bet” below.
Town Centre is out digitally 9/6 and physically 11/15 on Speedy Wunderground. Pre-order it here.