Last month, Portland instrumental outfit Grails announced a new album, Anches En Maat — their first in six years following 2017’s Chalice Hymnal. This album also marks the first all Grails members recorded in the same studio together since 2008’s Doomsdayer’s Holiday. In tandem with the album announcement, Grails shared lead single “Sad & Illegal,” and today they’re following that up with “Black Rain.”
“‘Black Rain’ was named after one of our favorite films Last Wave by Peter Weir (1977),” says the band’s Emil Amos. “The film was originally marketed in the US under the title ‘Black Rain,’ possibly to capitalize on the growing fervor over pollution and a coming man-made apocalypse. Grails always tend to reach back to that era for its sleazy aesthetics and the emotional atmosphere of a specific brand of PTSD the 1970’s seemed to embody… a nasty hangover left by the cultural upheaval of the ’60s.”
The track also reaches back to the birth of Kraftwerk’s calculatedly “cold” textures. They brought a signature academic touch to “dance music,” until that minimal, mechanistic sound was borrowed by Afrika Bambaataa to reflect a different shade of coldness that could play correctly on a street-level. As kids we experienced all this music from within the fringe culture of the ’80s… not knowing how universal it was going to become. And the same thing could be said about concerns about climate change as they grew into the mainstream over a similar course of time.
After watching Blade Runner while being extremely high the other night, a lot of modern soundtracks (Oppenheimer especially) just sound like weak imitations of Vangelis’ original take on the future. So “Black Rain” tries to return to the source of that original spirit instead of resorting to any direct carbon-copying. It’s a cocktail blended from the influence of the pioneers of cold, “future” music, along with a true dread for the oncoming apocalypse we always seem to be staring into.
Listen to “Black Rain.”
10/04 – Linz, AT @ Stadwerkstatt
10/05 – Budapest, HU @ A38
10/06 – Bratislava, SK @ Pink Whale
10/07 – Brno, CZ @ Kabinet Muz
10/08 – Prague, CZ @ Meet Factory
10/09 – Vienna, AT @ Arena
10/11 – Berlin, DE @ Roadrunners Rock & Motor Club
10/12 – Bochum, DE @ BHF Langendreer
10/13 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique
10/14 – Groningen, NL @ Vera
10/15 – Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
10/16 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega / Ideal Bar
10/18 – Helsinki, FI @ Kuudes Linja
10/19 – Tallinn, EE @ Paavli Kultuurivabrik
10/20 – Durbe, LV @ Zemlika Festival
10/21 – Vilnius, LT @ Sodas2123
10/22 – Warsaw, PL @ VooDoo
Anches En Maat is out 9/22 via Temporary Residence.