Portishead’s Geoff Barrow surprises releases new album with Beak> 

Portishead’s Geoff Barrow has announced the surprise release of his latest album with Beak>, as well as a run of UK and European tour dates. Find ticket information below.

READ MORE: The Roots Of… Portishead

Announced today (May 28), the surprise new album marks the first from the trio – comprised of Barrow, Billy Fuller and Will Young – in six years.

It also comes as their fourth studio album since forming back in 2009, following on from debut ‘>’, 2012 sophomore album ‘>>’ and 2018’s ‘>>>’. Now, with the aptly titled new project ‘>>>>’, the band are back and looking to “deliver another taste of a different moment, suspended in stasis and simultaneously rushing towards the vanishing point on the horizon”.

With ‘>>>>’, Beak> drop the project in its entirety, without previously hinting at the project nor sharing any singles in advance. This, the members explain, is to encourage listeners to absorb the content in its entirety, and interpret the tracklist as a full body of work.

“At its core we always wanted it to be head music (music for the ‘heads’, not headphone music), listened to as an album, not as individual songs. This is why we are releasing this album with no singles or promo tracks,” the trio explained in a press release, announcing the project.

“The recording and writing initially began in a house called Pen Y Bryn in Talsarnau, Wales in the fall out from the weirdness of the COVID days. Remote and with only ourselves and the view of Portmeirion in the distance we got to work.”

Out today.https://t.co/DSs16zP2iN pic.twitter.com/ewc3QxGAgz

— Official (@Portisheadinfo) May 28, 2024

They continued, explaining how the album was made and why a dog was chosen to feature on the album artwork.

“With the opening track, ‘Strawberry Line’ (our tribute to our dear furry friend Alfie Barrow, who appears on the album’s cover) as the metronomic guide for the album, we then resumed recording, as before, at Invada studios in Bristol, whilst still touring around Europe and North/South America.”

“After playing hundreds of gigs and festivals over the years we felt that touring had started to influence our writing to the point we weren’t sure who we were anymore. So we decided to go back to the origins of where we were at on our first album. With zero expectations and just playing together in a room.”

You can check out the opening track and full tracklist below.

The ‘>>>>’ tracklist is:

1. ‘Strawberry Line’
2. ‘The Seal’
3. ‘Windmill Hill’
4. ‘Hungry Are We’
6. ‘Ah Yeh’
7. ‘Bloody Miles’
8. ‘Secrets’
9. ‘Cellophane’

Today also sees Barrow and co. announced a run of 2024 tour dates, which will see them play various live shows across the UK and Europe later this year.

These will kick off on October 30, with an opening night at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff, followed by a slot at The O2 Forum in Kentish Town on November 1. Other UK shows commence throughout the first week of November and include stops in Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds.

From there, five shows across France are planned for the remainder of the month, as are performances in Belgium, the Netherlands, Copenhagen and Denmark. The two final gigs will take place at The Button Factory in Dublin and Bristol’s SWX on December 12 and 14 respectively.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday (May 30), and you can visit here to find tickets. Find a full list of dates below.

UK/European tour Nov & December>>>> pic.twitter.com/QaVPmwFtPZ

— BEAK (@BeakBristol) May 28, 2024

Beak>’s tour dates are:

OCTOBER
30 – UK Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach

NOVEMBER
1 – London, The O2 Forum Kentish Town
2 – Brighton, Concorde 2
6 – Manchester, New Century Hall
7 – Glasgow, Saint Luke’s
8 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
11 – Lorient, L’Hydrophone
13 – Paris, Élysée Montmartre
15 – Lyon, L’Epicerie Moderne
16 – Nantes, Le Lieu Unique
17 – Tourcoing, Le Grand Mix
19 – Brussels, Orangerie, Botanique
20 – Amsterdam, Melkweg – Oude Zaal
21 – Nijmegen, Doornroosje
23 – Winterthur, Salzhaus
25 – Munich, Hansa 39
27 – Berlin, Gretchen
29 – Copenhagen, Pumpehuset

DECEMBER
12 – Dublin, The Button Factory
14 – Bristol, SWX

While Barrow has been centring his efforts on Beak> lately, his former Portishead bandmate Beth Gibbons has also been releasing new music in recent weeks – dropping her highly-anticipated solo album ‘Lives Outgrown’ earlier this month.

First announced in February, it marks the first solo album to be shared from the iconic trip-hop frontwoman, and contains 10 new tracks recorded over a period of 10 years.

“On ‘Lives Outgrown’ Gibbons uses this history to her advantage. She cannily foregrounds the weather-beaten gravitas of her vocal at each turn, its familiarity holding us tight so that, in parallel, she can undercut that feeling of safety by continually pointing out the grains of sand falling into the wrong half of the hourglass,” read a glowing four-star review from NME.

“She subverts the roots of own legacy with vital new work that exists in the now because it has to.”

The post Portishead’s Geoff Barrow surprises releases new album with Beak>  appeared first on NME.

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