Somewhere between utopia and dystopia The Longcut have constructed their own monolithic world. Impossible to place but undoubtedly familiar, on their new record Arrows, Manchester’s sonic architects have carved out their own Upside Down within the crevices of the North; sublimely sweet, bittersweet and bleak, where concrete blockades loom large, but songbirds emerge from clouds overhead.
7 years in the works but much less time in the making, several cuts of each song and two versions of the album later, Arrows embodies aggravation. Sliced, diced and layered up again for the 21st Century, Arrows shows strength from struggle through its stark contrasts; “We were going to call it ‘Monuments’ because of this process of chipping away and adding things,” tells bassist, Jon Fearon. “Eventually we settled on ‘Arrows’; it’d be easy to read too much into it but really, it’s about people. ‘Arrows’ was also the track that pushed us to finish the record, even when it was tough.”
Whilst previous albums A Call and Response (2006) Open Hearts (2009), and 7-track EP Broken Hearts (2010) were formulaic in structure, Arrows was formed from the rolling approach of no clearly-defined beginning, middle or end. Through its single-word titles which stack upon each other like steel girders, order is brought to the recordings, mixed by studio boffin and The Earlies live guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Tom Knott, who provided ‘Popic’s live brass sounds. “He transformed our sprawling recordings into a coherent whole and his contribution is one of our favourite parts,” Jon says. Meanwhile on the sleeve, Arrows takes its shape with angular artwork created by long-time artistic collaborator Liam Palmer.
Raw, brutal, pounding the senses and always from the heart, The Longcut are ready to launch Arrows into 2018’s bleak and beautiful horizon.