Preoccupations release fourth studio LP 'Arrangements' & share video for new single 'Slowly' and announce 2023 UK/EU tour.
Canada’s Preoccupations release their fourth studio LP, Arrangements. Final single “Slowly” follows previously released “Ricochet” & “Death of Melody”, and is another thrilling cut taken from the new record, out now as a self-release.
On the album release, vocalist Matt Flegel says
"I’m certain that I’ve been writing about the same bleak things over and over again throughout the lifespan of Preoccupations. This time around the themes of isolation, anxiety, trepidation, imminent self-annihilation, fear of totalitarianism, and general malaise unintentionally all feel a little more relevant than they have in the past. I guess that’s not a great sign, but I think we’ve taken this culmination of dark things, and turned it into something that can happily be listened to loudly,
and that is maybe even…fun?"
Arrangements begins with the pounding metallic slash of guitar strings of “Fix Bayonets!”. It’s harsh and desolate at first, but builds into a thrilling synth sprint. The track —from its call-to-arms title and tense first guitar phrases to its whirlwind evolution— sets the stage for what is to come: a Preoccupations record that weaves their guitar-heavy origins with their newer synth-based work. The result is Arrangements, a record that is at once the band’s most intense, engaging, and playful work yet.
The band's first official video from Arrangements. “Slowly” was directed by Chad VanGaalen, and it follows previous singles “Ricochet” & “Death of Melody”.
Work on Arrangements began in the fall of 2019, when vocalist and bassist Matt Flegel and guitarist Danny Christiansen met up with Munro at his Studio St. Zo in Montreal. The three wrote the record’s material and recorded all of the bed tracks, then drummer Mike Wallace joined and laid down his parts. All told, drums, guitars, and bass were completed during the sessions at Studio St. Zo. The band planned to reconvene in a couple of months and decide what else the songs needed.
When COVID hit, those plans were halted. Munro was in Calgary on tour with his partner when shutdowns began, so he ended up staying in the city with his parents for the next 16 months. He whipped up a make-shift studio in their house, and the record was finished remotely via Munro and Flegel sending tracks back and forth. All of Munro’s vocals and keyboard parts were completed in this new set up, while Flegel’s vocals were done in New York. Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) mixed the record, and Mikey Young (Total Control) mastered it.
The isolation in part encouraged the band to reconnect with elements of their earlier releases. Munro, holed up in Calgary with endless weed gummies, “obsessively” doubled keyboards on guitars and vice versa, sampled the recordings using an old Ensoniq keyboard sampler, and made new parts out of the samples. While Munro was committed to making keyboards the centerpiece of the band’s 2016 and 2018 releases, this time, guitar returned to the spotlight — an instrument he describes as more fun and visceral to play. Christiansen’s guitar is in a unique tuning for almost the entire record, blurring and smearing the tracks while Munro’s standard-tuning riffs provide melody and clarity.
The album’s title —like that of their 2018 LP New Material— is literal and cheeky, a sharp contrast to the band’s sonic aesthetic. Having finished it entirely on their own, the band has decided to self-release the record outside of Canada. Long-time co-conspirators Flemish Eye will handle the record’s Canadian release.
Thematically speaking, Arrangements is dark and direct:
“The lyrics are pretty conspicuous and self explanatory on this one, but it’s basically about the world blowing up and no one giving a shit,”
With Arrangements, Preoccupations finally and confidently inhabit the dystopia that they have been carefully creating from their musical genesis. In a room with taped up windows, with only a tiny pinprick of light beaming from the otherworld onto the far wall — upside down and blurred, yet recognizable enough to fill you with warm familiarity and nostalgia of unknown origins.
Preoccupations are known for their truly transformative live shows and will be hitting Europe, including the UK, in support of the new album in early 2023. This follows a US tour in Autumn this year. All dates are listed below, and tickets can be purchased here.
2023 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES: TICKETS Feb 3rd - Fribourg, CH @ Fri-Son Feb 4th - Baden, CH @ One Of A Million Festival Feb 7th - Margate, UK @ Elsewhere Feb 8th - Bristol, UK @ The Fleece Feb 9th - Hull, UK @ The New Adelphi Club Feb 10th - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club Feb 11th - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo Feb 12th - District - Liverpool, UK Feb 13th - YES | Pink room - Manchester, UK Feb 15th - Hare & Hounds - Birmingham, UK Feb 16th - Scala - London, UK Feb 18th - Petit Bain - Paris, FR Feb 19th - AB Club - Brussels, BE Feb 20th - L'Entrepôt - Arlon, BE Feb 22nd - L'Aéronef - Lille, FR Feb 23rd - EKKO - Utrecht, NL Feb 24th - Badehaus - Berlin, DE Feb 25th - UT Connewitz - Leipzig, DE Feb 26th - Milla - Munich, DE
2022 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES: TICKETS Oct 19th - Loving Touch - Detroit, MI Oct 20th - Grog Shop - Cleveland, OH Oct 21st - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL Oct 22nd - Racoon Motel- Davenport, IA Oct 23rd - Turf Club in St. Paul - Minneapolis, MN Oct 26th - Commonwealth - Calgary, AB Oct 28th - Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA Oct 29th - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC Oct 30th - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR Nov 2nd - Rickshaw Stop - San Francisco, CA Nov 4th - Echoplex - Los Angeles, CA Nov 5th - Valley - Phoenix, AZ Nov 8th - Paper Tiger - San Antonio, TX Nov 9th - Parish - Austin, TX Nov 10th - Three Links - Dallas, TX Nov 12th - Aisle 5 - Atlanta, GA Nov 16th - DC9 - Washington, DC Nov 17th - Johnny Brendas - Philadelphia, PA Nov 18th Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY Nov 19th - Space Ballroom - Hamden, CT Nov 21st - The Sinclair - Boston, MA Nov 22nd - Bar Le Ritz - Montreal, QC Nov 24th - Lee’s - Toronto, ON
Preoccupations - 'Arrangements'
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