The Eskimo Chain – New Single 'Evacuation Day' and news of their new album 'E.X.O. Incorporated - An Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'
London based psychedelic four piece the Eskimo Chain release their new single ‘Evacuation Day’ today, with their second album, due out in early 2020. After self-recording, mixing and releasing their debut album ‘Abnormal Dreams’ in 2018, the band wasted no time in retreating once again to the English countryside to self-record a follow-up album less than a year later. Ever experimental and ever interesting, the new album ‘E.X.O. Incorporated’ takes on a more conceptual approach, as a motion picture soundtrack to an imagined science-fiction film.
‘Evacuation Day’ is a menacing piece of psychedelia that evokes images of Colonel Walter E Kurtz heading down the river in Apocalypse Now. The swirling, hypnotic organ overlays the songs driving guitar, drum and bass and haunting vocal. As with all of the bands previous output, its excellent, and given the films’ synopsis you get the feeling that the album is going to be a very interesting body of work:
‘E.X.O. Incorporated 2068. A hole opened in the sky. A perforation in the atmosphere too great to reverse. Crops were scorched as daylight became deadly. Humanity fled in all directions, hysterical and in search of refuge. No one was safe’.
Under the guise of E.X.O. Incorporated a fleet of vessels, repurposed from space tourism craft, were developed and produced by Earth’s towering Big Tech superpowers, with the advertised aim of transporting those who could pay to hospitable exoplanets. Consumers scrambled to the boarding stations on what was dubbed ‘Evacuation Day’, and those that boarded trusted in the corporation’s design.
They could not know their salvation was a ruse, for their hope and fear was all-consuming. All but a select few would be jettisoned to float among the debris of the Baedeker Stream, as litter upon the stars’.
Sci-fi dystopia or political, socio-economic and political critique? I asked the band whether E.X.O. Incorporated was approximating a defined point in time when our environment will collapse, based on the adverse impacts of people and business, or whether the hole opening in the sky an isolated incident, not determined by the consequences of our actions:
The album is a response to a general feeling, rather than any literal extrapolation on real-world trends and events. Many things are broken today, and it often feels like we are heading for a point of no return. In that sense the hole in the sky is not an isolated incident. But who can safely claim to know the reason behind anything these days?
I also wanted to find out what made them decide to write a soundtrack to an imaginary film as a second album:
The idea of the modern album is straight and constricting, yet unfocused – how can you write music for an album if you don’t really know what it will eventually be? In contrast, writing a soundtrack provided the perfect momentum for productive song-writing, and focused our work. Science fiction is an inspiration and enabled us to explore new sounds.
The band wouldn’t be drawn on what E.X.O. stood for and have said that they’re happy to hear suggestions, and there are as yet no plans to make E.X.O. Incorporated into a film themselves at this stage, although there will be some conceptual YouTube videos.
More live shows will be announced around the release of the album early next year, and will feature their trademark handmade effects and noise-makers, bringing as much of the soundtrack’s sonic palette to life as possible.
You can watch the video to ‘Evacuation Day’ here
To hear tracks from Eskimo Chain’s brilliant debut album ‘Abnormal Dreams’ and see their live show with Damo Suzuki, head over to their Youtube channel here.
You can buy the album here