Metric’s fifth album ‘Synthetica’ out now – UK dates in July3 July 2012
Canada’s finest quartet Metric measure up with new album ‘Synthetica’ – their fifth, full-length studio album – out now on the band’s own label Metric Music International (MMI).
The band will play a series of UK live shows in early July, including London Shepherds Bush Empire on July 2.
Written by Metric and produced by the band’s guitarist Jimmy Shaw, ‘Synthetica’ balances futuristic cuts and driving beats with organic, guitar-led melodies.
Minimal opener ‘Artificial Nocturne’ speaks volumes, as Emily Haines’ enigmatic cry fires the pistol for the start of the race with this bold declaration; “I’m just as fucked up as they say/I can’t fake the daytime/found an entrance to escape into the dark.”
First single ‘Youth Without Youth’ – out now –tackles the topic of a fraying social state with bristling energy and lyrical complexity, before moving through the aqueous swell of a chorus in ‘Breathing Under Water’.
Industrial sounding synths resonate in ‘Dreams So Real’ and Haines’ sweeter side makes an appearance on ‘Lost Kitten’, whereas ‘Clone’ and ‘The Void’ aim for higher electronic ground. That’s not forgetting the driving force of title track ‘Synthetica’ and ‘Wanderlust’ which features vocals from Mr. Lou Reed himself.
Shaw says: “It’s the culmination of everything we’ve done. We’ve always had a sound in our heads that we hoped to realize. We finally heard it coming back out of the speakers this time.”
Thematically, the album covers more than a broad range of topics, according to Haines. “’Synthetica’ is about insomnia, fucking up, fashion, all the devices and gadgets attached to our brains, getting wasted, watching people die in other countries, watching people die in your own country, dancing your ass off, questioning the cops, poetic justice, standing up for yourself, sex, the apocalypse…”
Work on ‘Synthetica’ began literally the day after the ‘Fantasies’ tour ended in Miami at the Art Basel modern art festival in November 2010. Metric’s Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joules Scott Key and Joshua Winstead returned to Giant Studios in Toronto and work on the album concluded a year later at New York’s Electric Lady Studios.
Haines first envisioned the word “Synthetica” as the name for a particularly resilient skin-job from Blade Runner, a female replicant who voices an inner monologue of all your human imperfections. “If you imagine a nightmarishly fake version of me as a pop star, that’s her,” she says. “And this record was about me saying, I’m going to give more to the music than ever, but there’s no way I’m going to turn into someone like that.”
Metric have sold out arenas and headlined festivals. They’ve had a hand in scoring films for everyone from Edgar Wright to David Cronenberg, and they wrote the theme song for the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack with composer Howard Shore. They’ve even performed their song ‘Gimme Sympathy’ at a private event for The Queen.
‘Synthetica’ is the follow-up to ‘Fantasies’, which sold over a million albums/singles worldwide. And if 2009’s ‘Fantasies’ was about escaping the familiar and exploring the world, ‘Synthetica’ is about finding the courage to stay home and deal with your own reflection in the mirror. “It’s about facing what you know is true,” says Haines.
Mon 2nd LONDON Shepherds Bush Empire
Fri 6th LONDON HydePark, Wireless Festival
Sat 7th MANCHESTER HMV Ritz
Sun 8th OXFORD O2 Academy