Concerns share new single “Death of Melody”

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“Death of Melody”, the second single from the arrangements of Canada’s Concerns fourth studio album, immerses you in a six-sided reverb tank filled with a shape-shifting shoegaze mist. It recalls the martial, mechanical rhythms of 2015 bands throughout, eventually descending into a deeper level of avant-pop, a glistening mine of dystopian glam.

“It’s about having a song stuck in your head, and having no idea what it is, and driving you to the brink of insanity trying to figure out what it is,” explains Flegel, “It’s about knowing and forgetting, about existing in the middle between the permanent and the temporary.”

The arrangements begin with the metallic slash pounding guitar strings of “Fix Bayonets!”. It’s harsh and desolate at first, but turns into a thrilling synth sprint. The track – from its call-to-arms title and strained guitar opening phrases to its swirling evolution – sets the stage for what’s to come: a record from Concerns that weaves their guitar-heavy origins with their new work based on on the synth. The result is Arrangements, a record that is simultaneously the band’s most intense, engaging and playful work to date.

“Death of Melody” is preceded by lead single “Ricochet”.

Concerns are known for their truly transformative live shows and will be hitting North America in support of the new album. All dates are listed below and tickets can be purchased here.

Listen to the new single here:

2022 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES

October 19 – Touch of Love – Detroit, MI

October 20 – Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH

October 21 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL

October 22 – Racoon Motel – Davenport, Iowa

October 23 – Turf Club in St. Paul – Minneapolis, MN

October 26 – Commonwealth – Calgary, AB

October 28 – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA

October 29 – Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC

October 30 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR

November 2 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA

November 4 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA

November 5 – Valley – Phoenix, AZ

November 8 – Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX

November 9 – Parish – Austin, TX

November 10 – Three Links – Dallas, TX

November 12 – Aisle 5 – Atlanta, GA

November 16 – DC9 – Washington, D.C.

November 17 – Johnny Brendas – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

November 18 Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY

November 19 – Space Ballroom – Hamden, CT

November 21 – The Sinclair – Boston, MA

November 22 – Bar Le Ritz – Montreal, QC

November 24 – Lee’s – Toronto, ON

Work on the arrangements began in the fall of 2019, when vocalist and bassist Matt Flegel and guitarist Danny Christiansen met Munro at his Studio St. Zo in Montreal. The three wrote the material for the disc and recorded all the bed tracks, then drummer Mike Wallace joined and dropped off his parts. In total, drums, guitars and bass were completed during the sessions at Studio St. Zo. The band planned to reunite in a few months and decide what else the songs needed.

When COVID hit, those plans were put on hold. Munro was in Calgary on tour with his partner when the closings began, so he ended up staying in the city with his parents for the next 16 months. He set up a makeshift studio in their home, and the record was completed remotely via Munro and Flegel sending leads back and forth. All of Munro’s vocals and keyboard parts were completed in this new setup, while Flegel’s vocals were done in New York. Graham Walsh (Holy f) mixed the record and Mikey Young (Total Control) mastered it.

The isolation partly encouraged the band to reconnect with elements of their previous releases. Munro, locked up in Calgary with endless weed erasers, “obsessively” doubled keyboards on guitars and vice versa, sampled the recordings using an old Ensoniq keyboard sampler, and created new parts from the samples.

While Munro had pledged to make keyboards the centerpiece of the band’s releases in 2016 and 2018, this time the guitar returned to center stage – an instrument he describes as more fun and visceral to play. . Christiansen’s guitar is in a single tuning for nearly the entire record, jamming and smearing the tracks while Munro’s standard tuning riffs provide melody and clarity.

The title of the album – like that of their 2018 LP New Material – is literal and cheeky, a stark contrast to the band’s sonic aesthetic. After finishing it entirely on their own, the band decided to self-release the record outside of Canada. Longtime co-conspirators Flemish Eye will handle the Canadian release of the record.

Thematically, Arrangements is dark and straightforward: “The lyrics are pretty obvious and self-explanatory on this one, but it’s basically about the world exploding and no one giving away,” says Flegel.

With Arrangements, Preoccupations finally and confidently inhabit the dystopia they have carefully created since their musical genesis. In a room with sealed windows, with only a tiny speck of otherworldly light beaming off the far wall – upside-down and blurry, but recognizable enough to fill you with a warm familiarity and longing for origins unknown.

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