Masters of hazy, insular guitar lead dream-pop, replete with a subtle drama born of a close eye on the minutiae of modern human existence, London quintet Margot drop new single Arles.
Once again characters, and relationships between them, are imagined to create a voice through which vocalist Alex Hannaway can express his personal thoughts. Derived from his own social experiences and engagement with politics there’s an unflinching authenticity in his observations.
Following the Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird inspired Coffee Stained Scars Arles strikes a slightly more morose tone, without losing the shimmering glean that is becoming a staple of the 5-piece’s work. There’s a dialling down, reflected by a slower unravelling of subtle guitar riffs and tugging swells of reverb, as well as a decision to switch the artwork into black and white. This preps you for an invigorating guitar solo to cut through just beyond the 3 minute mark – a cathartic response to Hannaway’s low-key calls throughout.
These two latest singles are companion pieces; both are explorations of mental health issues, delivered as stories told by Hannaway with fleshed out players. The simple cinematic element present is in tune with the themes, as Alex says:
“’Arles’ is about the juxtaposition of receiving devastating news in a beautiful place.”
Citing influence from various art-forms – Emily Dickinson’s poetry or John O’Hara’s unvarnished realism to The Smiths and Coronation Street – Margot’s loving treatment of kitchen-sink drama blurs the lines between high and popular culture.
Self-produced once more in the band’s own studio space, not beholden to time or financial pressure, the band’s relentless DIY approach enables a perpetual artistic process, agile to accommodate their evolving thematic interests.
Hannaway is joined by Ben Andrewes (Drums), Albi Cleghorn (guitar), Rob Fenner (guitar, keys) and Michael Webb (bass).
Margot’s Arles is out on March 1st.