Preoccupations are returning in 2018 with their strongest and most powerful album to date – and today, they release their first single, “Espionage.” New Material builds a world that is dark and exhilarating by a band in their prime. The four-piece self-recorded the album but this time pulled in Justin Meldal-Johnson (M83, Wolf Alice) for mixing duties to amplify the band’s singular post-punk grit. Their music has always worked through themes of creation, destruction, and futility. While the darker side may have been well explored, that’s not quite the same as it being fully, intensely lived. This time, it was. The result is New Material, a collection of tracks that solidifies Preoccupations to be true masters of their sound.
Talking about the album, lead vocalist, songwriter, and bassist Matt Flegel says “It’s an ode to depression. To depression and self-sabotage, and looking inward at yourself with extreme hatred.” The writing for New Material gave shape to the sheer tonnage of what Flegel had been carrying. With virtually nothing written or demoed before the band sat down together, the process was more collaborative than before. It was almost architectural – building some things up, tearing others down to the beams, sitting down and writing songs not knowing what they were about. But for Flegel, it led to a reckoning. “Finishing ‘Espionage’ was when I realized. I looked at the rest of the lyrics and realized the magnitude of what was wrong,” says Flegel.
Known for their explosive and mind-expanding live show, Preoccupations will start their world tour in North America this Spring. The tour will kick off in Toronto on April 14 and take them to NYC, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland, and more. A full rundown can be found here.