Hookworms’ new album, Microshift, will be released via Domino Recordings on February 2 2018. To help whet the whistle of fans who have been waiting for three years for new material from the psych-dance-punk outfit, there’s a new video, and it’s called “Negative Space”.
There’s something of a rebooting in the Hookworms sound on the new album, and that new sound is articulated well in this track. A band that developed an approach to craft from live performance and beds of guitars have added synths, and deeper textures to their palette. However, this isn’t an exercise in simply adding some fresh beats and new colors – there’s a genuine sense that the band have taken stock, and altered their desired route of travel. This is a fuller vision, a broader scope and a more fully-realized account of the potential that previously simmered beneath the surface.
On the surface, “Negative Space” is the tale of heartbreak, of absence and the readjustment of personal goals, borne of pain and the death of a loved one. However, beneath the lyrical foray through the bleaker elements of the human condition, there’s an odd existential discovery. Time shifts, and while big meanings escape us there is something in the ‘now’ of pain that, in some odd way, makes room for a kind of beauty, and it’s a beauty that liberates. Nothing really makes sense, and that is somehow reassuring.
Musically, this new trajectory from the band is welcome. With this track Hookworms improve on themselves, and on the genre from which they emerged. It’s rare that bands have the courage to truly experiment; to alter direction and jeopardize the security of a niche fan base, here though the excursion pays off. The space between beats reflects the negative space of the narrative, and the crisp accompanying visuals signal a new northern star by which the band are navigating. You can go a long time waiting for a band to release something that sounds like it surprised them in the studio, but the Hookworms do that with “Negative Space” Here’s a track that gets to the deeper root of potential, the kind of stuff that happens when confidence and trust expands.
For “Negative Space” we award Hookworms seven out of eight beats in a brand new rhythm.
HURRY – LISTEN – HOOKWORMS
Image credit – Hollie Fernando