Black Country, New Road release debut album “For the first time” via Ninja Tune

by Levi

Selected praise for “For the first time”:

“The most exciting new band of 2021” – The Times (5/5)

“This feels like everything a rock band can do.” – Loud & Quiet (10/10)

“a triumph” – NME (5/5)

“the album packs in a career’s worth of ideas and suggests this band could go on to become something even more special.” – London Evening Standard (5/5)

“a significant milestone in modern guitar music.” – CLASH (9/10)

“For The First Time is ferocious and endlessly intelligent, highly considered and wildly improvised, eked out with bristling tension and set alight with a burning intensity and a knowing smile”– The Line Of Best Fit (9/10)

“You’ll be hard pushed to find a more adventurously self-assured debut this year” – Uncut (9/10)

“Exploratory British alt-rock debut to get excited about” – MOJO (4/5)

“This mind-bending musical odyssey is one to savour” – The i (4/5)

“Black Country, New Road’s first full-length statement becomes a thing wholly unto themselves, a document of restless creativity and incisive minds processing an era of too much mediation and stimulation.”
– Stereogum (Album of the Week)

“true storytellers who have captured the passion and intensity of our cynical times.” – Gigwise (8/10)

“Black Country, New Road might be the perfect band.​” – the Quietus

“If the world needs saving, maybe they’re the band to do it” – The FADER

“Together, they have carved out a niche with expansive compositions that take the mood of post-punk and rough it up with grinding guitars, cinematic flourishes, klezmer breakdowns and a kind of sweeping, desperate romanticism.” – CRACK

“a frenetic, fireball of their caustic, maniacal post-punk meets acid-jazz cacophony that makes the young outfit stand alongside the very best”
– So Young

“Anxiously excellent” – The FACE

“On the cusp of a debut that comes good on all the obtuse, esoteric groundwork they’ve spent the past two years laying” – DIY, Class of 2020

“It is razor sharp as you might imagine, darkly comic, completely impossible to box, and I love it for all those reasons” – Mary Anne Hobbs

“Just loving how gargantuan and risky this is, really fucking with this, really messing with it” – Anthony Fantano (The Needle Drop)

Today, Black Country, New Road have released their much-anticipated debut album “For the first time” via Ninja Tune.

It is easy to forget that just over 3 months ago Black Country, New Road had only released two singles to-date. Those early breakthrough tracks “Athens, France” and “Sunglasses, saw the band make an impressive impact on fans and critics alike. Declared “the best band in the world” by The Quietus, with glowing reviews from The New York Times to The Guardian, a cover feature for Loud & Quiet, a live BBC 6 Music session, selling out shows across the country (including 1700 tickets in London), being invited to festivals around the world including Primavera and Glastonbury, and finding themselves on French TV sandwiched between Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien.

In the here and now, having signed to Ninja Tune, the band’s debut record arrives heralded as nothing short of groundbreaking. Recorded with Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine) during the early part of 2020 and then finished at the end of the second nationwide lock-down, the album is the perfect capturing of a new band and all the energy, ferocity and explosive charge that comes with that whilst also clearly the work of a group who have no interest in repetition, one-note approaches or letting creative stagnation set in. Featuring six new songs including reinterpretations of early tracks “Sunglasses” and “Athens, France”, as well as recent singles “Track X” and
Science Fair“, “For the first time” is a sonic time capsule that somehow manages to bottle the past, the present and the future.

Speaking about the release, the band says, “the group feel a collective sense of relief, one of reflection too – we think this record gives an honest representation of the way we sound when we come together and play music. All of the good moments and some of the less good moments too. It’s a good start, we look forward to the music being available to people and in equal parts look forward to moving on from this music. Before the release of this record we are already hard at work preparing new music.”

On what under normal circumstances may be good cause for a victory lap of the UK’s live music venues, the band instead will play an 40 minute improvised livestream on Bandcamp to commemorate the new album. The performance (which will be recorded at The Premises studios in London) will take place on 6th Feb – tickets are £4 and are available via Bandcamp HERE.

In the absence of live music possibilities for the early part of 2021, the band have also announced details of a new socially distanced headline tour to take place in June, including the band’s rescheduled sold-out dates at Islington Assembly Hall, London that were due to take place in April (full dates below). The new dates also follow on the heels of the band’s London headline livestream date at Queen Elizabeth Hall – Southbank Centre on March 6th – full details + tickets are available HERE.

Anyone who buys the album on any format from the Black Country, New Road store, Bandcamp or Ninja Tune store between 10am GMT on Friday 5th February and 11.59pm GMT on Wednesday 10th February will gain access to the June tour pre-sale. Those who have previously ordered the album from those stores will also be sent access details. Pre-sale starts at 9am GMT on Friday 12th February. 

Black Country, New Road’s live performances have gained legendary status among fans of the emerging scene that coalesced around vaunted south London venue The Windmill, and which gave rise to many of their peers and contemporaries such as Fat White Family, black midi and Squid, artists with whom they have variously supported, toured with and collaborated with over the years.

The band also recently teamed up for a collaborative performance with black midi under the name Black Midi, New Road. The livestreamed performance was part of a fundraiser for The Windmill Brixton, which raised over £13K for the venue.

The band will play the following dates in 2021:

06/02/2021 – The Premises, London – UK (Livestream)
06/03/2021 – Queen Elizabeth Hall – Southbank Centre, London – UK (Livestream)
15/06/2021 – Komedia, Bath – UK
16/06/2021 – Gaiety Bar, Portsmouth – UK
17/06/2021 – Komedia (2x sets), Brighton – UK  
18/06/2021 – The Castle & Falcon (2x sets), Birmingham – UK
20/06/2021 – Future Yard (2x sets), Liverpool – UK
21/06/2021 – Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle – UK  
23/06/2021 – Abbeydale Picturehouse, Sheffield – UK
25/06/2021 – YES (2x sets), Manchester – UK
26/06/2021 – Brudenell Social Club (2x sets), Leeds – UK
27/06/2021 – Islington Assembly Hall, London – UK
28/06/2021 – Islington Assembly Hall, London – UK (rescheduled from April 19)
29/06/2021 – Islington Assembly Hall, London – UK (rescheduled from April 20)
14/09/2021 – Electric Ballroom, London – UK
23/10/2021 – Bumann & Sohn, Cologne – DE
24/10/2021 –  Botanique Orangerie, Belgium – BE
25/10/2021 – Le Trabendo, Paris -FR
27/10/2021 – Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing – FR
28/10/2021 – Lieu Unique, Nantes – FR
29/10/2021 – Rockschool Barbey, Bordeaux – FR
30/10/2021 – Dabadaba, San Sebastian – ES
01/11/2021 – ZDB, Lisbon – PT
02/11/2021 – El Sol, Madrid – ES
03/11/2021 – Laut, Barcelona – ES
05/11/2021 – Circolo della Musica, Turin – IT 
06/11/2021 – Bogen F, Zürich – CH
08/11/2021 – Underdogs’, Prague – CZ
09/11/2021 – Lido, Berlin – DE
10/11/2021 – Hydrozagadka, Warsaw – PL
11/11/2021 – Transcentury Update Warm Up @ UT Connewitz Leipzig – DE
12/11/2021 – Bahnhof Pauli, Hamburg – DE 
14/11/2021 – Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht – NL 
16/11/2021 – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam – NL
29/11/2021 – Chalk, Brighton – UK
30/11/2021 – Junction 1, Cambridge – UK
01/12/2021 – 1865,  Southampton – UK
03/12/2021 – Arts Club, Liverpool – UK
04/12/2021 – Irish Centre, Leeds – UK
06/12/2021 – O2 Ritz Manchester, Manchster – UK
07/12/2021 – Newcastle University Union    Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK
08/12/2021 – TV Studios (SWG3) Glasgow – UK 
09/12/2021 – The Mill, Birmingham – UK
10/12/2021 – The Waterfront, Norwich – UK
12/12/2021 – SWX, Bristol – UK
13/12/2021 – Y Plas, Cardiff – UK
15/12/2021 – Whelan’s, Dublin – IE

Tickets are available HERE

‘For the first time’ is available on Limited Edition White LP [with exclusive negative sleeve], Black LP, CD, as well as Cassette (BC,NR store only). 

Order the album HERE

Black Country, New Road
For the first time
Out now on Ninja Tune

1. Instrumental
2. Athens, France
3. Science Fair
4. Sunglasses
5. Track X
​6. Opus

Black Country, New Road are:

May Kershaw – Keys
Charlie Wayne – Drums
Luke Mark – Guitar
Isaac Wood – Vocals/Guitar
Tyler Hyde – Bass
Lewis Evans – Sax
Georgia Ellery – Violin

Further details on art direction and open source imagery:

The “For the first time” album cover and its related imagery have all been selected from Unsplash, the internet’s source of freely-usable images, creating an aesthetic for the band that is freed from their specific context. Any image can come from a diverse global range of photographers, in a way that feels more reflective of the visually eclectic nature of the digital age we are in and that the band have grown up in. The band chose to credit Unsplash and the photographer on the cover artwork itself, as a decision to let their audience into the process and invite them to join in in engaging with this growing open source culture.

As with earlier imagery, the band were emphatic about a sincerity in terms of showing friends, community and a sense of coming together, reflecting their own relationship as a long-term seven person band and close-knit friendship group since their youth.

More info / assets:

Full bio | Press Shots | Album Art

BC,NR online:

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | Spotify | Apple | Soundcloud | YouTube  | Bandcamp

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