Benefits have shared a new single called ‘Thump’ – you can listen to it below.
Written in August, the Teesside punk outfit’s gritty latest offering is built around “a relentless electro drone thud” created by synth player Robbie Major, frontman Kingsley Hall told NME.
“The lyrics try to tie together all the loose ends of a difficult summer, from both a political and personal perspective. It’s about having your confidence knocked and anxieties triggered in a time of turmoil,” he added.
“Putting the current horror show of UK politics to one side, from a personal point of view, summer was just awful. My dad died unexpectedly and to be honest I’m still struggling to get my head around it.
“The Queen died around the same time and in a way, it felt like my grief was stalled by this odd, colossal, national mourning. My own feelings and heartbreak felt insignificant. I was overwhelmed by guilt for not being able to feel the way I should have been feeling.”
Hall continued: “Everything around me, every shop front, every black tied news reporter, every sugar-coated boring melancholy song on the radio, all these respectful hushed tones, all the enforced remorse, it all seemed like an attack. I was completely numb. I can’t really describe it, it was – and still is – just properly, properly rubbish.”
Hall went on to say that his “frustrations with the state of the country” and reflections on personal matters are all “mixed into the second half” of ‘Thump’: “The fear of getting old and jealousy of youth; the anxiety of feeling out of my depth; imposter syndrome.”
As for the first half, the frontman said it is made up of “pure political anger [and] fury at these demonic leaders” at the top of government.
“Rage at the sound of nothingness from the mainstream, this tedious wistful romanticism, endlessly harking back, where’s the anger in our entertainment?”
Hall told NME: “We tried to juxtapose all of that with a feeling of hope for the future, sonically and lyrically. My dad was always hopeful. But then, at the very end, we abruptly cut the recording and kill off the hope.”
‘Thump’ arrives with an intense official video by Eddy Maynard, which was shot in the land surrounding Holme House Prison in Stockton-on-Tees. You can watch the clip above.
Benefits are set to embark on a UK headline tour next month – see the full itinerary below.
18 – Stereo, Glasgow
19 – Pop Recs, Sunderland
20 – Joiners, Southampton
21 – Cavern, Exeter
22 – Strange Brew, Bristol
23 – Oslo, London
24 – Bodega, Nottingham
25 – Yes, Manchester
26 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Speaking to NME last summer, Kingsley Hall said that he didn’t want Benefits’ live gigs to seem “half-arsed” but rather “an explosion of power and anger”. He added: “We don’t have anyone editing us or telling us what to do.”