Update: After the full stream was taken down, the band put up a standalone stream of “The Yabba.” Video has been replaced with that.
New York experimental/instrumental/math/dance rock trio Battles are gearing up to release their third studio album, La Di Da Di, next month, and if the expectations and hype surrounding this album seem inexplicably high, there’s a good reason for that. After releasing one of the most forward-thinking and adventurous albums of the past 15 years in 2007’s Mirrored, the band’s sophomore follow-up, 2011’s Gloss Drop was largely defined (and ultimately marred) by the sudden departure of guitarist/robot chipmunk-like vocalist Tyondai Braxton. La Di Da Di therefore represents a fresh start for the band and an opportunity to forge a new path. Having already released a documentary giving an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the recording and creative process for the new album (as well as a few snippets of new tracks), Battles appear to be fully eschewing convention and have yet to release a single. Instead, they have released a live session video of four new tracks, all of which are streaming in a loop on Youtube. Check them out below.
The four new tracks are “The Yabba,” “Summer Simmer,” “Tyne Wear,” and “Dot Com,” and each represent a different, albeit familiar, facet of the band’s sound. “The Yabba” is prickly and jagged beast of a song that takes its time to really kick into high gear. “Summer Simmer” is a smoother and more upbeat track, “Tyne Wear” sounds like a loopy interlude, and “Dot Com” is another slow-burner. Together they form something that sounds like a logical continuation of the better fully instrumental tracks off of Gloss Drop, which is a positive sign given that tracks like “Africastle” and “Wall Street” off of there represent some of the band’s best work. I’m positively giddy to hear what the rest sounds like, as well as the final studio versions of the tracks here. Also, the video, directed by David Radboy, is seriously on-point and slick as hell.
The video will be streaming on loop as a “live event” continuously until 10am EST tomorrow morning, so get on this right now! La Di Da Di is out via Warp Records 9/18.