Squid: Exclusive Album Review

5 mins read

Squid’s debut album Bright Green Field is set to be released by Warp on 7 May.

The five-piece – Ollie Judge (lead vocals/drums), Louis Borlase (vocals/guitar), Arthur Leadbetter (keyboard, strings and percussion), Laurie Nankivell (bass and brass) and Anton Pearson (vocals/guitar) – met during university in Brighton in 2015.

Bright Green Field is full of completely new tracks which builds its anticipation even more as some artists like to include past singles on their albums, particularly debut ones.

Squid have instead released two tracks from their unique album – Narrator and Paddling.

The album name aims to create a dystopian vision. The band also used the lyrics of each track to illustrate the places, events and architecture that is being imagined.

“Previous projects were playful and concerned with characters, whereas this project is darker and more concerned with place – the emotional depth of the music has deepened”.


The opening track Resolution Square perfectly secures the band’s creativity and line of thinking. Whilst only lasting 40 seconds, it includes field recordings of ringing church bells, bees and the running sound of a microphone swinging over guitar amps.

This descends into the second track G.S.K. This has a funky beginning before the strong vocals which sets the scene of being in a place for too long. This settles down before bursting into a guitar rhythm that then lasts throughout creating that evolving atmosphere.

Image credit – Ian Cheek Press

The band’s first released track from this project Narrator goes from an everlasting groove to a burst of chaos due to the featuring vocalist Martha Skye Murphy’s melodic touch. This is the first long track on the album of eight minutes.

There is a lot of crossover of drums and the bass. The idea of shaping one’s own life and going through a journey of being your own narrator is made.

Murphy’s vocals fit nicely and come in after one minute. Judge’s solid vocals are mixed well with the calmness of Murphy’s especially during the bridge of the track which they both do together.

Boy Racers is another lengthy track of seven and a half minutes. The drums and bass carry the same energy and tone throughout. After three minutes, a parallel universe type of scene is presented with many undertones and it is very sci-fi.

The second released track of the album Paddling has a drum machine on loop and pulsing synth line as it evolves between dynamic movements. The track builds up for the first minute before vocals are heard where it is back and forth.

The track soon speeds up before the bridge is heard. This upbeat melody is kept throughout.

Image credit – Ian Cheek Press

Documentary Filmmaker is simply punk meeting jazz. After this is track 2010, a mixture of vocals is heard but also seems quite conversational. A burst of punk is revisited before a rhythm of calmness once more.

One of the shorter tracks lasting just over one minute is The Flyover. This is another instrumental only track in which the title suggests it is there to break the tracks up and give the listener a chance to absorb everything so far.

Peel St. is very techno sounding at the beginning with a tint of jazz. The vocals are powerful and this track in particular gives off a heavy metal sound.

The second-last track Global Groove is very post-rock sounding.

The closing track Pamphlets is another song of just over eight minutes. References to the outdoors throughout which is a recurring theme in this album.

The ending consists of that heavy metal vibe again with the drums and guitars colliding and the drums having a particularly large presence.

Image credit – Ian Cheek Press

Squid are set to perform in Glasgow at the SWG3 as part of their UK tour on the 28 September this year.

Featured image credit: Ian Cheek Press

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