- Watch the video for "Apricots" now.
Bicep will release their second album, Isles, via Ninja Tune next January.
The new LP is meant as the "home listening version" of a set of songs that will evolve over time in the duo's live sets, says member Matt McBriar. Him and Andy Ferguson recorded Isles over the last few years, inspired largely by growing up on an island—both physically (Ireland) and politically (Northern Ireland).
"We're not religious, but we're both from different religious backgrounds," McBriar says. "There was always a lot of interest in us talking about those issues, but we always felt that one of the things we loved about dance music was that freedom it gave you to be released from talking about those things."
"You'd enter [Belfast club Shine] and it would be people from both sides of the tracks and they'd be hugging. And the following week, they’d be with their mates rioting," Ferguson adds. "It felt like the safest place but, on paper, it should have been the most dangerous."
The album is also influenced by the sounds the duo heard after moving to London, including "Hindi vocals overheard from distant rooftops [and] snatches of Bulgarian choirs drifting from passing cars." New single "Apricots" samples Malawian singers and a Bulgarian vocal troupe. The rest of the LP includes collaborations with British artist Clara La San as well as Canadian cellist and composer Julia Kent.
The first single from Isles, "Atlas," came out in March.
Watch the video for "Apricots," directed by Mark Jenkins.
Watch RA's film of Bicep performing live at Printworks in 2018.
04. Saku feat. Clara La San
06. X feat. Clara La San
07. Rever feat. Julia Kent
10. Hawk feat. machìna
Ninja Tune will release Isles on January 22nd, 2021