Multifaceted post-punk group Black Country, New Road pull together disparate genres including jazz, math rock, and klezmer to form sprawling tracks that switch between quieter moments and peaks of bristling intensity. They debuted in 2021 with their Mercury Prize-nominated album For the First Time, before quickly following it up with 2022′s Ants from Up There.
Formed out of the ashes of their previous band Nervous Conditions, the members of BCNR include Lewis Evans (saxophone), May Kershaw (keyboard), Charlie Wayne (drums), Luke Mark (guitar), Isaac Wood (vocals/guitar), Tyler Hyde (bass), and Georgia Ellery (violin). Having cut their teeth at the infamous Brixton venue the Windmill, the band established themselves with their raucous live shows. Their live reputation and just two singles, 2019′s “Sunglasses” and “Athen’s, France,” generated a lot of hype around the band, leading up to the release of their debut album For the First Time in 2021.
Following its release, the album was nominated for the 2021 Mercury Music Award while also peaking at number four in the U.K. album charts. With touring on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group returned to the studio with long-time collaborator Sergio Maschetzko to work on their follow-up. Pushing their sound further into other sonic territories, the resulting album, Ants from Up There, was issued in February 2022, just days after the sudden departure of singer/guitarist Isaac Wood.~ Liam Martin