“MURASAKI” VIDEO PREMIERE VIA STEREOGUM
TITLE TRACK OFF NEW EP OUT DIGITALLY NOW VIA WICHITA RECORDINGS
VINYL EDITION OUT JUNE 16, 2015
UK CO-HEADLINING TOUR WITH NO JOY UNDERWAY
May 11, 2015 – Cheatahs premiered their video for “Murasaki,” the title track off their new EP, this morning via Stereogum and the cinematic Matt Portman-directed clip – “as arresting as the song itself” – can also now be seen here: https://youtu.be/9Op-Jr6Gjvs. The Murasaki EP was released digitally last week (purchase via iTunes HERE) and the vinyl version, which will be out in the US on June 16th, 2015 via Wichita Recordings, can be pre-ordered here: http://smarturl.it/wichitahs.
The London-based Cheatahs are currently on a co-headlining tour of the UK with No Joy, playing next tonight for a hometown show at Oslo. The tour continues through the 20th in Brighton, UK, and then the band will head to mainland Europe for a quick run of shows in Belgium and France that culminates with a performance at Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, Spain on May 28th. A current itinerary is below.
Murasaki Shikibu’s life tale is one of rebellion: born into 11th-century Japanese aristocracy, where women were strongly discouraged from learning to read and write, she did so anyway and went on to pen masterpieces of poetry and prose depicting Kyoto court life. There’s a good dose of that same defiance to Cheatahs, and their new brilliant 紫 (Murasaki) EP – inspired in part by acclaimed Shikibu novel The Tale Of Genji – continues their unpredictable evolution in searing fashion.
Arriving a year after their debut album and three months after their cult-acclaimed Sunne EP, the four tracks on Murasaki see Cheatahs push their unique sonic blueprint even further, with the Canada-born Nathan Hewitt, Californian Dean Reid, British James Wignall and German drummer Mark Raue “exploring and embracing our cultural diversity more consciously than before.” Bassist Reid’s Japanese-American heritage, for instance, is the spark for the EP’s scorching motorik title track. Over a wavering analogue synth line and maddening thrum of distorted guitar, the song imagines his parents’ first meeting in Kyoto from two differing perspectives. The first part is “a partly-fictionalized, modern take sung in English,” says Hewitt, “while the second, sung by Dean, is told in the form of a traditional Japanese epic tale.”
Second track “Warm Palms,” meanwhile, “kind of crept out of nowhere,” according to the band. “We thought it would be interesting to treat the production on this one more like an ambient guitar piece, so we experimented with sounds and texture. Lyrically it’s about recognizing your mortality and interconnectedness with nature.” Similarly reflective is “3D Milk”, a kaleidoscopic shimmer of contorting, self-made loops, threaded with faded analog beats that revisits a strangely poignant memory from guitarist Wignall’s adolescence. “I used to go to a place as a teenager with friends called Old John, an 18th-century folly on a hill in Charnwood forest in Leicestershire, and revisited it recently,” says Wignall, who also takes vocal duties for the track. “The surrounding countryside is extremely verdant, but the visible Precambrian rocks, the oldest on Earth, give it a primeval feel, too. It’s very peaceful but at the same time you’re more than ever aware of how furtive nature is, that it’s far from entirely benign.”
The final track “Wash Out,” perhaps best described as mystic surf-punk, is “as close to a bad acid trip as we’ll probably be able to soundtrack…”, says Hewitt. It completes a set of songs that are at once envelope-pushing and accessible. “We’re always trying to create new sounds, something different.” It’s become a mantra for the adventurous Cheatahs, who are showing no signs of slowing.
The band is currently at work on the second full-length album, with more news coming soon.
Cheatahs tour dates:
MAY 11 LONDON, UK OSLO*
MAY 13 LEEDS, UK BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB*
MAY 14 YORK, UK THE FULFORD ARMS*
MAY 15 CARDIFF, UK IFOR BACH*
MAY 16 BRISTOL, UK THE LOUISIANA*
MAY 20 BRIGHTON, UK PRINCE ALBERT*
MAY 21 BRUGES, BE CACTUS CLUB**
MAY 26 BORDEAUX, FR ROCK SCHOOL BARBEY
MAY 28 BARCELONA, ES PRIMAVERA SOUND
* co-headline with No Joy
** with The Hickey Underworld
Embed the “Murasaki” video: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Op-Jr6Gjvs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Stream “Murasaki”: https://soundcloud.com/cheatahs/murasaki