Drahla share new single ‘Grief In Phantasia’

Drahla press photo
Photo credit Drahla & George Brown

Leeds-based art-rock experimentalists Drahla share Grief In Phantasia, the latest single from ‘angeltape,’ their long-awaited second full-length album due out April 5th via Captured Tracks“Grief In Phantasia” is the expressionistic closer of ‘angeltape’ and encapsulates Drahla’s often elliptical creative process and the tumultuous nature of the album itself. According to the band: “This song was informed by others on the record and those we’d written in the past. It felt like the closing track when we wrote it, as though it summarised the chaos and the calm of the album.”

Listen to Grief In Phantasia via YouTube below or here

‘angeltape’ was announced in January on the heels of their recent singles Lip Sync and Under The Glass, and is their first full-length release since their critically acclaimed 2019 debut, ‘Useless Coordinates’. Grief In Phantasia follows the album’s frenetic single Second Rhythm which Brooklyn Vegan called “a kiss wrapped in a brick” upon its February release. The single was accompanied by a menacing video created by the band. Lead single Default Parody was released in January and merges off-kilter guitars with erratic sax lines and harmonious yet metallic vocals. The song came with a striking video and upon its release caught the attention of Pitchfork (SELECTS), Consequence, Brooklyn Vegan, Treble, Post-Trash, Fluxblog, and Under The Radar among others.

Recorded with Matthew Benn and Jamie Lockhart in 2023, ‘angeltape’ is an avant-garde document of the events that unfolded over the five-year gap between records which saw a variety of changes – good and bad – steer their professional and personal lives down unfamiliar territories. Instead of succumbing to adversity, however, ‘angeltape’ sees Drahla re-emerge sounding creatively rejuvenated with deeply reflective perspectives. Over the last few years, they suffered devastating losses and expanded their sound with guitarist Ewan Barr joining vocalist and guitarist Luciel Brown, bassist Rob Riggs and drummer Mike Ainsley. These recent experiences – collective and individual – culminate in a sound that is considerably darker and tonally more complex and conceptual in its essence. Delving into themes of grief and trauma whilst simultaneously celebrating moments of sentimentality and support during difficult times, angeltape shifts between being a challenging, comforting and ultimately rewarding record for both artist and audience.

The addition of Ewan Barr to Drahla’s visceral and vital arrangements signalled a significant shift in the band’s dynamic, ultimately reshaping the way they approach their angular arrangements. Crucially, it allowed Drahla to dismantle previous limitations and carve out new sonic avenues to experiment with form more than ever before. Brown, in particular, embraced this opportunity to find different ways to inhabit her contemplative lyrics. There was, of course, a readjustment period for the band as they came together to write angeltape in this new iteration which kickstarted a renewed creative approach. “There was an uncertainty and anxiety in not knowing how to rekindle what we had, and what we did have just didn’t exist in the same format,” Brown explains. “I feel this is apparent in the music; the constant changes, opposing ideas and structures, the overall energy and drive of the songs. I think there’s also the sense of reconnection, encouragement and freedom, too. There’s excitement borne from us finding something together again.”

Sonically, the exhilarating interplay of driving bass riffs and charged drum patterns provide a captivating contrast to Brown’s melodic spoken delivery. The enveloping atmosphere emanating from the quartet is heightened by searing saxophone accompaniments by long-standing collaborator Chris Duffin, who has featured on all of Drahla’s previous output. There’s an irresistible and unwavering potency surging throughout this masterful second record, one that stays with you long after you first step into Drahla’s enticing world. Furthermore, this exciting new chapter is anchored by the quartet finding a great source of inspiration in the joy of playing music together, as bassist Rob Riggs adds: “When the four of us are in a room, we each bring separate things to the table. Sometimes, a session would start a little bit disjointed but then we find a way where we could all interlock together for a moment in a song and then disperse again.”

Drawing some inspiration from experimental rock band This Heat, Drahla primarily found that their greatest motivation came from listening to and following one another throughout the recording sessions. “I think the process and inspiration for this album has been way more experimental and insular than taking on any external musical references,” says Brown, “This record feels like it was built on a foundation of insular inspiration.” This autonomous practice extends beyond Drahla’s music into the visual representation of their intense and immersive instrumentation. It’s almost impossible to listen to songs as intricately layered – musically and lyrically – as theirs and not imagine the spaces they exist within. Thus providing an awe-striking multi-sensory experience every time you spend time with a Drahla record.

Drahla angeltape album cover artwork

‘angeltape’ track listing
1. Under The Glass
2. Default Parody
3. Zig-Zag
4. Second Rhythm
5. Talking Radiance
6. Concrete Lily
7. Lip Sync
8. A
9. Venus
10. Grief In Phantasia

Rob Riggs: Bass, Vocals, Keyboard, Piano
Michael Ainsley: Percussion, Vocals
Ewan Barr: Guitar
Luciel Brown: Guitar, Vocals, Keyboard, Piano
Chris Duffin: Saxophone

All songs written by Drahla

Recorded and mixed by Matthew Benn at Hohm, West Yorkshire
Vocals recorded by Jamie Lockhart at Greenmount, West Yorkshire
Additional production and tape loops by Chris Duffin
Mastered by Tom Woodhead at Hippocratic Mastering, West Yorkshire

‘angeltape’ is out April 5th via Captured Tracks – pre-order here

Drahla will also head out on tour across the EU and UK this May / June, their first since their European dates in 2023. Their reputation as a fervent live act is ever-growing, having toured across the world and shared stages with the likes of Parquet Courts, Ought, Buzzcocks, and several others.

Tour dates

05/02 – Wakefield, UK – The Establishment
05/03 – Brighton, UK – The Hope & Ruin
05/04 – Brussels, BE – Les Nuits Botanique
05/07 – Cologne, DE- Bumann & Sohn
05/08 – Mainz, DE – Schon Schön
05/09 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
05/10- Leipzig, DE – Ilses Erika
05/11 – Berlin, DE – Urban Spree
05/13 – Dresden, DE – Blechschloss
05/14 – Krakow, PL – Green ZOO Festival
05/15 – Prague, CZ – Underdogs
05/16 – Vienna, AT – Arena
05/17 – Munich, DE – Kafe Kult
05/18 – Bologna, IT – DEV
05/19 – Montecosaro, IT – Teatro delle Logge
05/21 – Clermont Ferrand, FR – Cooperative de Mai
05/22 – Toulouse, FR – Metronum Music Box
05/23 – Barcelona, ES – Sala Taro
05/24 – Madrid,  ES – Sala Specka
05/25 – Porto,  PT – Plano B
05/26 – Lisbon, PT – ZDB
05/27 – Vigo, ES – Radar Estudios & Mondo Club
05/30 – San Sebastian, ES – Dabadaba
05/31 – Bordeaux, FR – IBoat
06/03 – Paris, FR – Point Ephemere
06/04 – Lille, FR – L’AERONEF
06/06 – London, UK – Shacklewell Arms
06/07 – Bristol, UK – Dareshack
06/08 – Margate, UK – Where Else?
06/09 – Liverpool, UK – Quarry
06/10 – Manchester, UK – YES
06/12 – Glasgow, UK – The Old Hairdresser’s
06/13 – Coventry, UK – The Tin Music and Arts
06/14 – Hebden Bridge, UK – Hebden Bridge
06/15 – Leeds, UK – Belgrave Music Hall

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