IDLES are back and set to take over the dance floor with their fifth album, TANGK. Due out February 16th via Partisan Records, the album follows the band’s Grammy-winning 2021 LP CRAWLER and was co-produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck), the band’s own Mark Bowen, and Kenny Beats (Denzel Curry, Vince Staples).
Helping the Bristol, U.K. punks transition to the dance floor are LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy and Nancy Whang, who contribute backup vocals to the lead single “Dancer”. With support from the Brooklyn art-rockers, IDLES turn in an infectiously minimalist groove. Frontman Joe Talbot keeps his trademark level of intensity, but what he’s really passionate about now is cutting a rug rather than busting skulls. In the Jocelyn Anquetil-directed video, the hard-rocking hooligans show off their moves in matching white suits.
“TANGK. I needed love. So I made it,” Talbot said of the album. “I gave love out to the world and it feels like magic. This is our album of gratitude and power. All love songs. All is love.”
IDLES crossed paths with LCD Soundsystem over the summer, touring together as part of the Re:SET Concert Series. LCD topped a daily curated lineup featuring IDLES, Jamie XX, Big Freedia, and L’Rain, and once they’d gotten to know each other, Talbot pitched Murphy on a collaboration.
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” Talbot told NME in a new interview. “By that point we’d been touring with them for a few weeks and knew they were lovely human beings. They took time out of their day off and took us to their studio. They were really accommodating and lovely, so hard-working, patient and awesome. They’re sick.”
“Dancer” is emblematic of a new stylistic shift for IDLES on TANGK (“pronounced ‘tank’ with a whiff of the ‘g’ and an onomatopoeic reference to the lashing way the band imagined the guitars sounding that has grown into a sort of sigil for living in love,” per a press release). With the 11-track release, the band’s primary intention is to make people move once again. And though Talbot’s trademark growling may instinctively induce it, the goal is not for bone-crushing mosh pits. Quite the contrary, as the frontman has placed a heavy emphasis on sending love out into the world.
“’Dancer’ is the violence that comes from the pounding heart of the dancefloor and rushes through your body and gives you life from music, from love and from you,” he said of the single.
Going into greater detail, he told NME, “When I started this album, I said to Bowen: ‘I want to make people dance, I want people to feel the love that I need in my life, I want to make people move, I want our music to be infectious again—and I want it to be infectious in a way that makes people feel, not think. I want to feel part of something electric again. I wanted to elaborate and transgress from 2021’s CRAWLER, which was the start of something new for us. When something feels as electric as CRAWLER did, I just wanted to continue it and to evoke a sense of purpose with what we are as musicians.”
Watch the music video for “Dancer” below and click here to pre-order IDLES’ upcoming album TANGK.
IDLES – “Dancer” [Official Video]