Teeming with melodic epiphanies and layered sounds, Squid’s second album O Monolith is a musical evocation of environment, domesticity and self-made folklore. Like its predecessor, 2021’s critically acclaimed, UK number 4 album Bright Green Field, it is dense and tricksy – but also more warm and characterful, with a meandering, questioning nature.
The album began its gestation only two weeks after the release of Bright Green Field, on the band’s Fieldworks tour in May and June 2021. The songs continued to come together in rehearsal rooms around Bristol, where the band were based at the time. Although each member has his primary instrument(s), there are no set roles when writing and recording. The band then moved to Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios in Wiltshire, a luxe, rambling environment far removed from producer Dan Carey’s intimate basement studio, where Bright Green Field came to life. This change in environment further pushed the development of the band’s sound from claustrophobic post-punk to something more free-flowing and spacious.
For O Monolith, Squid tried out new roles within the band, new players and collaborators joined the fray during recording – another expansion in Squid’s sonic world. Production from long-time collaborator Dan Carey is complemented by mixing from John McEntire of Tortoise.
Expansive, evocative and hugely varied, O Monolith retains Squid’s restless, enigmatic spirit, but it still holds surprises for those familiar with Bright Green Field. It’s a reflection of the outsized progression of a band always looking to the future. Like its namesake, O Monolith is vast and strange; alive with endless possible interpretations of its inner mysteries.
- 1. Swing (In a Dream)
- 2. Devil’s Den
- 3. Siphon Song
- 4. Undergrowth
- 5. The Blades
- 6. After the Flash
- 7. Green Light
- 8. If You Had Seen the Bull’s Swimming Attempts You Would Have