A nebulous, noise-driven cut that gnaws its way through gritty instrumentals and existential lyricism, “Centre of Gravity” comes as the first taste of new music from the dizzying dream-pop six-piece in almost four years.
Plucked from Wylderness’ newly confirmed second album ‘Big Plans for a Blue World’ set for release this June, the track sees the band put a subversive spin on their usual sun-drenched shoegaze. Produced by Rory Attwell and taking a more layered approach to instrumentation, “Centre of Gravity” pieces together a rugged and roiling wall of sound.
With DIIV, Sonic Youth and Ride all cited as Wylderness’ everyday influences, “Centre of Gravity” is a clangorous curve ball chucked into the band’s docile dream-pop trajectory. With stabbing punk sensibilities and a frantic undercurrent of fuzzy reverb, the band explain of the track:
“This song shows our leanings towards Parquet Courts and the noisier elements of Yo La Tengo. Lyrically it’s inspired by the first photo of a black hole that was taken a couple of years ago. We wanted our first song back to be punchy and to the point, so this was chosen as the lead single for the album and the opener for side two.”
Alongside the single, Wylderness have also announced the release of their second album ‘Big Plans for a Blue World,’ produced by Rory Attwell and due 10 June 2022, via Succulent Recordings. Recorded between Andy Ramsay of Stereolab’s London studio and a farm in rural Wales, the release sees Wylderness build upon the foundations of their eponymous 2018 debut with an expanded lineup and a more complex approach to instrumentation, with the addition of vintage synths and clarinet.
With its title inspired by a fictional David Bowie song and a bizarre dream, vocalist and guitarist Marz says of ‘Big Plans for a Blue World’:
“I had a vivid dream that I was at a David Bowie concert in the mid 80s. Bowie walked on stage in a crisp blue suit and said: ‘this is a new song, it’s called “Big Plans for a Blue World”.’ The song was in the same vein as ‘Sledgehammer’ by Peter Gabriel — probably not up there with Bowie’s greatest work but it had a catchy chorus. I woke up and wrote it down, and started Googling to see if it was a real song by Bowie but nothing came up. We took it that this was meant to be the name for our new album.”
Combining dark and dreamy pop influences with stratified synths and barbed instrumentals, ‘Big Plans for a Blue World’ echoes the shoegaze garble of DIIV, Ride and Yo La Tengo, with a hint of Sonic Youth. From the lengthy Kurt Vile-inspired “Keep on Keeping” to the wonky and experimental instrumental “Warped” and the jagged spoken-word track “YLT vs VU” Wylderness wear their influences on their sleeves as they wade through a melee of inspirations including second-hand Japanese books, Jack Nicholson films and real-life run-ins with drunk fans and unsettling earthquakes.
Coming as the band’s first hint of new music in almost four years, ‘Big Plans for a Blue World’ is a punchy and perspicacious follow-up to the band’s self-titled debut. Full of incisive guitar lines and misty dream-pop melodies, 2018’s ‘Wylderness’ amassed praise from the likes of CLASH, DIY and Drowned in Sound. The record was also championed by Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) and Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), and was included in Radio 1’s Best of BBC Music Introducing. Its long anticipated follow-up finally arrives this Summer.