UK post-punks Shame have announced their new album, Drunk Tank Pink, will be released January 15 on Dead Oceans.
Drunk Tank Pink is the result of a young band notorious for excessively touring, not being able to tour anymore. The sudden change in day to day life fuelled the creative leap the band took, marking a distinctive departure from the sound of 2018’s Songs Of Praise.
Guitarist Sean Coyle-Smith comments: “For this album, I was so bored of playing guitar. The thought of even playing it was mind-numbing. So I started to write and experiment in all these alternative tunings and not write or play in a conventional ‘rock’ way.”
Frontman Charlie Steen adds: “When you’re exposed to all of that for the first time you think you’re fucking indestructible. After a few years, you reach a point where you realise everyone needs a bath and a good night’s sleep sometimes.”
Inspired by Steen’s realization that self-medicating his demons away wasn’t a very healthy plan of action, Drunk Tank Pink was named after the room where most of the songs were conceived. A tiny spare room in Steen and Coyle-Smith’s shared living space in South East London, formerly the washing machine room, it was painted the specific shade of pink used to calm down drunk tank inmates, nicknamed The Womb, and in it, Steen locked himself away to write.
Steen says: “You become very aware of yourself and when all of the music stops, you’re left with the silence. And that silence is a lot of what this record is about.”
“The common theme when I was catching up with my mates was this identity crisis everyone was having. No one knows what the fuck is going on.”
Coyle-Smith adds: “It didn’t matter that we’d just come back off tour thinking, ‘How do we deal with reality?!?’ I had mates that were working in a pub and they were also like, ‘How do I deal with reality?!?’ Everyone was going through it.”
The songs that make up Drunk Tank Pink were then fleshed out in the Scottish highlands with electronic artist Makeness, before Arctic Monkeys producer James Ford worked his magic at the La Frette studios in France.
There’s even a song inspired by Elton John – closer “Station Wagon” – though it’s probably not what you think, as Steen comments:
“I read somewhere about him being so cracked out that he told his PA to move a cloud that was blocking the sun. I just thought that was the greatest, Shakespearean expression of ego. Humour is a massive part of this band. We’re not some French existential act where everything is actually sad. There’s light in it as well.”
Check out “Water In The Well” below, and pre-order/save Drunk Tank Pink here.
Images courtesy of Shame. Featured image by Sam Gregg.