Black Midi – “Sweater”
By the time Black Midi first made it Stateside just about a year ago, they’d already fueled a lot of buzz — partially because of their enigmatic qualities, but primarily because of their jaw-dropping live show, which had already been a fixture in the London scene for a bit. But then Schlagenheim arrived, and it was such a mind-bending, transfixing, genre-agnostic guitar freakout that Black Midi definitively brushed aside any chance they’d just be another quickly forgotten hype band from Britain. We were already pretty enamored with them — having designated them a Band To Watch as well as one of the year’s best new bands — and then we ranked Schlagenheim as one of 2019’s best albums and “953” as one of the best songs of the entire decade. We weren’t the only ones: Black Midi were one of the young names to take the year by storm as the decade waned, eventually capping it all off with a Mercury Prize nomination.
All of which is to say: It’s exciting to think about what could come next for this band. In recent times, they’ve shown a bit of tongue-in-cheek attitude — while their music always seemed to be dismantling ideas of rock bands in real time, now they’re out here just covering Limp Bizkit and releasing Ed Sheeran diss tracks. The band’s also gearing up for another round of touring — including appearances at Coachella and Governors Ball — and hopefully they’ll be experimenting and beginning to concoct what’s next.
In the meantime, they’re emptying out what remains from the Schlagenheim chapter. At midnight, Black Midi unveiled “Sweater” — billed as the final bit of music to come out of the sessions with Dan Carey. Leading up to their debut, there were a couple other one-offs like this, “Talking Heads” and “Crow’s Perch.” Comparatively, “Sweater” isn’t exactly a “new Black Midi song” (though God knows how that’ll be defined in the future). Rather, it’s an extended recording of loose jams and studio experimentation, like a final throat clearing before Black Midi go off and mutate again. Check it out below.
02/10 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2 (Sold Out)
02/11 – Southampton, UK @ The 1865 (Sold Out)
02/12 – Bristol, UK @ Marble Factory (Sold Out)
02/14 – Dublin, IE @ The Button Factory (Sold Out)
02/15 – Belfast, UK @ Ulster Sports Club (Sold Out)
02/17 – Edinburgh, UK @ Liquid Room (Sold Out)
02/18 – Newcastle, UK @ Riverside
02/19 – Leeds, UK @ Irish Centre (Sold Out)
02/20 – Norwich, UK @ Norwich Arts Center (Sold Out)
03/06 – London, UK @ Roundhouse (Sold Out)
03/27 – Sat. March 28 – Sao Paulo, BR @ Sesc Belenzinho
03/31 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Xirgu Untref
04/03 – Santiago, CL @ Bar Loreto
04/05 – Bogota, CO @ Festival Estéreo Picnic
04/08 – Mexico City, MX @ Foro Indie Rocks!
04/11 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
04/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
04/18 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
05/02 – London, UK @ Queen Elizabeth Hall (Sold Out)
05/05 – Chapiteau, BE @ Nuits Botanique
05/16 – Paris, FR @ Le Carreau du Temple (Sold Out)
05/18 – Berlin, DE @ Silent Green (Sold Out)
06/03-06/07 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
06/05 – London, UK @ Wide Awake Festival
06/05-06/07 – New York, NY @ Governors Ball
06/12-06/14 – Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret
06/23 – Manchester, UK @ Royal Northern College Of Music (Sold Out)
07/09-07/11 – Trencin, SK @ Pohoda
08/22 – Brecon Beacons, UK @ Green Man