NEW SINGLE ‘TOKEN APPRECIATION SOCIETY’ OUT NOW WATCH HERE
“I always love a musical slap in the face, this is pretty much in that bag” Clara Amfo, BBC Radio 1
“uniquely engaging” DIY
“Guitars judder and crash like Royal Blood…against disco-ripe synths” Classic Rock
“The Newcastle-via-Brighton trio amplify their ambitions, a palpable thirst for connection” CLASH
Newcastle via Brighton trio Demob Happy have released their eagerly anticipated new album Divine Machines today (May 26th) via Liberator Music. Stream here.
Along with the release, the band have just shared the super slick music video for ‘Token Appreciation Society’, watch here, and will be celebrating the release of the album with a string of in store shows this week and next, including Rough Trade East today. Demob Happy will also embark on an extensive headline UK and EU tour this September and October, all tickets available here.
Stepping into a new era, Divine Machines has seen Demob Happy conquer worlds previously uncharted. In January, the trio unleashed raucous first single ‘Voodoo Science’, earning the covers of The Rock List and New Noise on Spotify, and racking up several plays on BBC Radio 1 with Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders, with the latter stating “it’s like Daft Punk got abandoned in the desert and found by Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age.” ‘Voodoo Science’ saw further support from Rolling Stone UK, DIY, CLASH, Dork, Upset, Official Charts and Notion. Louder Sound heralded the single one of their Tracks of The Week, which doomsday follow up ‘Run Baby Run’ also saw inclusion from. ‘Run Baby Run’ additionally earned Demob their first ever BBC 6 Music play.
Since forming more than a decade ago back in hometown Newcastle, Demob Happy have earned every increasingly exciting career milestone through a combination of hard graft and gritty determination that would KO most bands. They’ve gigged incessantly, building on the excitement surrounding 2015 debut album Dream Soda with NME saying “the band balance heaviness with hooks, antagonism with hedonism”, and 2018’s Holy Doom which DIY proclaimed as an “absolute stormer”. Their albums and string of knock out singles since 2019 have seen the band amass well over 45 million collective streams.
They’ve toured the USA four times, gigged with Jack White, Band Of Skulls, Royal Blood, The Amazons (with White even inviting the band on stage to jam), opened the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, headlined London’s iconic SCALA and received critical acclaim from The Guardian, Independent, DIY, Kerrang, The Line of Best Fit, Dork, BBC Radio 1 and many more. In between all that, they’ve continued to meticulously hone the inner workings of their practice, with Matthew fine-tuning his production chops to the point where they can take everything in-house.
History has shown that a band’s third album is when shit starts to get real – their particular alchemy stamps its personality in ways that no other configuration of individuals can do; when the outside voices have been tempered and all that’s left is a perfect cocktail of confidence, skill and momentum. It’s a theory that’s been proven time and time again, and one that Demob Happy are underlining with their third album Divine Machines; one that harnesses their delicate tightrope of heaviness and melody, sweetness and riffs, and rides it up to the stratosphere.
Aesthetically embracing a Blade Runner-esque sci-fi leaning, lyrically Divine Machines finds the band swerving from the political corruption and modern world dystopias that they’ve previously detailed, and yearning for something more hopeful, that starts from within. Frontman Matthew says “I really see what’s happening to the human race as a moment in a hero’s journey. We’re at the point in the James Bond film where the villains reveal themselves and tell us the plan. We’ve got Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, these absolute supervillains with their rockets doing whatever the fuck they want, and software guru Bill Gates buying vast swathes of farmland for who knows what. They’re all revealing their plans to humanity and we’re all still going, ‘I hope they’re the good guys!’”
From the gargantuan, rumbling slow build of ‘Earth Mover’ – “a rallying cry for the human race to get up off its knees” – to the fizzing, irrepressible rock behemoth of ‘Voodoo Science’ that reclaims the term from dogmatic Western understanding, Divine Machines is an album that truly believes in the power of people. The almost AC/DC-ish ‘Tear It Down’ is about “ripping down the lies that society has told us and reprogramming ourselves to not see things in this binary way”, while closing track ‘Hades Baby’ – recorded with an orchestra at the actual Abbey Road (in Studio Two, no less) – glimmers with both widescreen ambition and a delicious slap of irony. “Ironically, it’s a big fuck you to billionaires, and we played it for an Amazon session. Bezos paid for that,” Adam chuckles.
Elsewhere, Divine Machines features some of the most emotionally soft songs the trio have penned to date. Multi-part harmonies cocoon the gnarly riff of ‘Muscular Reflex’ – “a beautiful, earnest love song to yourself and to the world” – while ‘She’s As Happy As A Man Can Be’, states Matthew, is a song that’s taken him years to arrive at. “It took a long time for me to shake off what I felt was this Northern idea that it has to be hard, it has to have an edge all the time” he says. “I’m still dealing with this childhood conflict of being tender and emotional and being made to feel small and soft for being that way. I buried that side away in my songwriting and it took a long time to be vulnerable enough to write a ballad like ‘She’s As Happy…’”
Divine Machines as a whole is a record that Demob Happy had to build towards. It’s the product not just of a strange extended period of work – both on the album and on themselves – but of an entire career spent putting in the hours, believing tirelessly in what they’re doing and, slowly but surely, watching the world start to believe in it too. As Matthew affirms: “We’ve never chased the dragon of success, even though we’ve been encouraged to, but we’re not interested in doing it like that. We’ve always done what we wanted, but now it seems like it might align with what other people want as well.”