Algiers have debuted new track and video ‘We Can’t Be Found’, taken from the London/NYC four-piece’s highly anticipated third album There Is No Year, out January 17 on Matador Records / Remote Control.
The mesmerising visual for the sinuous, dub-inflected song, which builds to a soaring, cascading chorus, propelled by the powerhouse vocals of frontman Franklin James Fisher, was directed by Ian Cone. “I always feel the most successful music videos are the ones that are reflective and convey the mood of the song to the listener over everything else,” says guitarist Lee Tesche. “In this instance, we collaborated with the artist Lloyd Benjamin, trying to frame some of his sculpture work in a more abstracted way, referencing the urban dystopian cityscapes found in the German expressionist films of the 1930s. The result aspires to be somewhere in between the unsettling work of Darius Khondji and the set design of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.”
‘We Can’t Be Found’ follows the release of ‘Void’, accompanied by a visceral live video shot in the band’s hometown of Atlanta, as well as the video for ‘Dispossession’, filmed in the Noisy le Grand suburbs of Paris. The Guardian described the latter track as “powered, as ever, by the soapbox preacher vocals of Franklin James Fisher, and amplified by portentous gospel backing vocals, the Atlanta group anthemically square up to oppression”.
There Is No Year was recorded in New York throughout 2019 by childhood friends and Atlanta natives Franklin James Fisher, Ryan Mahan and Lee Tesche, as well as drummer Matt Tong (ex-Bloc Party), alongside producers Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth, Oren Ambarchi) and Ben Greenberg (Zs, Uniform, The Men). The album is titled after author and fellow Atlanta native Blake Butler’s novel of the same name, a major inspiration to the band over the course of the album’s making.
“Even those aware of the ideals of this outspoken four-piece will find their latest direction on There Is No Year traversing unprecedented ground,” says Butler in his bio for the album. From the instant synth-pulse of the opening seconds of There is No Year, it’s clear that Algiers have set out to stake new ground, internally as much as sonically. At the forefront of this evolution is the centrality of power housed in Algiers’ multi-instrumentalist lead vocalist, Franklin James Fisher, whose voice and words provide the backbone of the album, his lyrics sourced entirely from an epic poem, Misophonia, composed during his search for meaning amidst a protracted personal period of anxiety and lack.
There Is No Year encompasses future-minded post-punk R&B from the trapped heart of ATL, where they began; to industrial soundscapes à la 4AD-era Scott Walker or Iggy & Bowie’s Berlin period; to something like the synthetic son of Marvin Gaye and Fever Ray. The whip-tight rhythm section of multi-instrumentalist Ryan Mahan and Matt Tong moves back and forth from infectious menace to sci-fi soundtrack to big band fever dream. Mahan’s beat programming and synth constructions fill out the fibrous threshold, while Tesche’s sound-sleeves and aural-layering shapeshift into a richly polished means of exploration, revealing more and more the deeper you delve.