Watch Mud and Flame the new track from Modern Studies, taken from their forthcoming album Welcome Strangers (out on 18 May 2018 via Fire Records on Digital|CD|Vinyl). The video was directed by Mario Cruzado who has worked on music videos for the likes of Siobhan Wilson, Jonnie Common and Meursault. Throughout the film, played out on a remote-looking coastal landscape (which gives it a post-apocalyptic feel), symbology is given prominence – they adorn clothes and flags and hands open revealing random natural and man-made objects. All very mysterious.
I found myself looking for some ghostly influence of the Folklore Tapes. A project on which band member Rob St John is a regular collaborator – ‘exploring the vernacular arcana of Great Britain and beyond’. Ben Myers, who wrote the press release for the album (also the author of the quite brilliant Gallows Pole – which tells of Cragg Vale Coiners), sums it up better – “‘kosmiche choral’ or, if we’re pushing it ‘arts-und-crafts-werk’. Or, put simply, glorious pop music.” Can’t disagree with that.
‘Welcome Strangers’ is an album of modernist pop weirdness for the 21st century, a bricolage where classicism meets experimentalism and repeated listening unearths new stories for this contemporary age. More elaborate and expansive than its predecessor, this is music as cartography, Modern Studies mapping their own multi-dimensional internal world.
You can also hear Mud and Flame on our latest show here.
UK Tour Dates
6th April: Shacklewell Arms, London, UK w/ Death &Vanilla
25th May: Happiness Hotel, Leith, UK
28th May: The Lexington, London, UK
30th May: Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, Scotland
31st May: Glad Café, Glasgow, Scotland
1st June: Mackintosh Church (with The Pastels), Glasgow, Scotland
23rd June: Rip It Up, Edinburgh, Scotland
Modern Studies are: Emily Scott (vocals, organs, piano, double bass). Rob St. John (vocals, guitars, synths, harmonium, tape loops). Pete Harvey (cello, bass, piano). Joe Smillie (drums, mellotron, vocals).
Welcome Strangers is available for pre-order now including Digital, CD, Vinyl (including Limited Edition) via https://modernstudiesfire.bandcamp.com/
Photo credit: Greig Jackson