Brand New announced their fifth album with a pre-order for a “limited vinyl” yesterday. It sold out pretty much instantly. Here’s what we definitely know about it:
It’s shipping in October.
Yup, that’s it. No artwork, title, lead single, release date, quote about how it’s their most experimental but poppiest record yet, or when we can expect any of the above. We don’t even know for sure which October they’re even talking about.
From the outside looking in, it’s sheer madness. We’ll level with you; from the inside it looks pretty mad as well. The thing is, the people that love Brand New, really do love Brand New. But why, we hear you scream at your Twitter feeds as friends, enemies and people you follow because they used to be interesting but have recently started moaning about train delays all start getting excited about the maybe impending release of Brand New Five.
Well, Brand New have a history of being great. There are the undeniable masterpieces of ‘Deja Entendu’, the peak of emotional poetry, fierce frustration and adventures in finding yourself lost, and ‘The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me’, all grown up realisations and impending doom. From their debut album ‘Your Favourite Weapon’, typical teenage angst done right, to the most recent full-length of ‘Daisy’ which pits chaos against beauty and doesn’t have time to explain why, the band’s back catalogue is a small cluster of supernova brilliance.
The band have found a way to bare their souls on record without getting in the way. From the stupid youth of breakups, wandering eyes and blaming others to finding a peace with what you know, theirs is a journey we’ve all endured. Just when you think you’ve got the world figured out, it all crumbles away and their despair is your own. People have grown up on the four chapters of Brand New but it’s more than nostalgia or a moment in time. It’s storytelling that reflects the quiet things that perhaps no one should ever know about. It’s a light in the dark and it’s screaming out.
It’s been eight years (eight years!) since ‘Daisy’ but Brand New have still been releasing music. There’s been the official release of the leaked demos from 2006 that still shine despite the pencil marks and frayed edges, there’s been a reworking of three of those tracks, breathing glorious new life into what might have been. There have also been the solitary drops of ‘Mene’ and ‘I Am A Nightmare’. Will they be on the new album? Who knows. Do they see the band still firing on all cylinders? You betcha.
Normally an eight-year wait between albums comes alongside a hiatus. Or a break. Thing is, Brand New have never properly gone away. Sure, appearances are sporadic and seemingly booked on a whim but there’s never been closure. It’s hard to move on when they’re maybe only a few steps away. Rather than becoming boring or letting themselves be forgotten, Brand New have remained a constant fiery presence for sixteen years. Live shows are as devastatingly good as they’ve always been but still come with an unpredictability. The band has never settled into a routine so whenever they take to the stage, it’s with a different energy. A different purpose. There’s a distance but you know Brand New are only playing or releasing music because they absolutely want to.
That said, they’re still a mysterious bunch. Shying away from the spotlight and letting the music do the talking, communication between band and fan is virtually non-existent. People are curious. People want to know more but Brand New have never given people that, and people love what they can’t have.
So whether or not Brand New’s fifth album actually exists, people are excited because people still care. Why? Because Brand New have never given them a reason not to.
Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett