Lathe of Heaven announce debut record, Bound By Naked Skies, out on September 1st via Sacred Bones
With little more under their belt than a relentless string of live performances and a twice pressed – and subsequently sold out – self-titled demo, the New York City-based band Lathe of Heaven have proved themselves to be a potent and cohesive element amidst the torrent of hardcore punk and synth-driven pop revival currently proliferating throughout the U.S. underground. Today, the band announces the signing to Sacred Bones, as well as their debut record, Bound By Naked Skies.
With careful consideration, this eleven track LP blends elements of British New-Wave and Finnish Post-Punk into a nuanced juxtaposition of 80s sonic mania. Incorporating themes of classic and contemporary science-fiction, Bound by Naked Skies indebts itself as much to its literary influences as it does to the music that informs its unique and deliberate sound. Paying powerful homage to the uncanny worlds of authors Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia Butler, Ken Liu and, of course, Ursula Le Guin (whose novel the band is named after), themes of cosmology, simulation, mental illness and ontology weave implicitly throughout the arch of the record, providing a sense of insight into the minds of those plagued by the ambiguous nature of humankind’s terrifying and not-so-distant future. To coincide with the announcement, the band are sharing the first single off of the record, entitled “Ekpyrosis”, alongside a video directed by Lucas Cabu and Vitor Jabour – you can watch the video below this article.
Though the term Ekpyrosis has roots in Ancient Greek philosophy, the name has since been adopted and reformatted to signify a cosmological theory that describes the origins and destiny of space and time. The Ekpyrotic Model, commonly associated with The Cyclic Model, hypothesises that the universe undergoes periodic cycles of contraction and expansion, leading to the creation, destruction, and thus recreation of the universe. Despite this theory’s contentious place in the field of cosmology, the band nevertheless finds its implications inherently compelling. There is something both horrifying and beautiful about the idea of our universe being in a constant state of death and rebirth, which Lathe of Heaven believes serves as a strong and apt portrayal of the various themes spanning across their upcoming debut record, Bound by Naked Skies. The “Ekpyrosis” video aims to place its viewer in the uncanny space of present and past, thematically exploiting neo retro-futuristic depictions of New York City, it’s punk underground and its dystopian future – a future the universe may have unknowingly seen before. On the visuals, director Lucas Cabu said, “This was a fun project. The band wanted to have space images playing behind them and have an 80’s look to it, so we used an analog mixer to do the chroma key in real time while the band was playing in my room! We kind of pre-edited it in real time then did the master in a beta-cam to give it an even more antiquated look.”
Bound by Naked Skies will be released on September 1st via Sacred Bones. Physical and digital pre-orders are now available here.
Photo credit: George C. Gildersleeve