Idles are gearing up for the release of their fourth studio album Crawler, which arrives just about a year after their 2020 LP Ultra Mono. While much of their previous music is a response to the state of oppressive politics or the anxiety of global events, their newly released track “Car Crash” is a little different.
The new song is still as brazen and raucous as their previous releases, but it’s instead a response to a harrowing near-death experience that forced vocalist Joe Talbot to reexamine his life. As the title suggests, Talbot was involved in a serious car crash which he described as a “horrific, comedown hangover.” The song itself mirrors the jerking whiplash of the event through the use of sporadic instruments and resonating drums.
In a statement about the song, Idles guitarist and co-producer Mark Bowen said:
“We wanted it to be as violent as possible to reflect that event. I really wanted it to be this sonic touchstone. We recorded the drums beforehand and put them on a vinyl acetate. Whenever you replay an acetate, because it is kind of like a liquid, it degrades every time. It touches on things being transient and momentary — even a single drum hit. It’s like a memory, when the moment has passed and you deal with the repercussions over and over again, and they morph and change into something else. It’s one of the first times on an Idles song where we used proper effects on the vocals — it was Joe going through my pedal board, so you get both clarity and degradation”
Listen to “Car Crash” above.
Crawler is out 11/12 via Partisan Records. Pre-order it here.