The new single from Jack Cheshire’s sensational album Fractal Future Plays, is released this Friday, June 25th. However, we are delighted to bring you the premiere of ‘Mystery Train’ today, four days ahead of release.
The new track is propelled by a muscular picked bassline, atmospheric swirling synths and Cheshire’s whoozy mercurial croon. Sonically, the track lies somewhere between Echo & the Bunnymen’s ‘Porcupine’ and Beck’s ‘Modern Guilt’, with minimalist crystalline guitars cascading over Jon Scott’s deft vintage drum tones. The song inhabits a strange and haunted corner of the multiverse – ‘Underneath the Perspex Moon, Wormholes converge in your room’ – one that’s disintegrating before your very eyes. Lyrically the song unfolds like a fever dream sequence, exploring the ‘white noise’ of existence, volatile fragmentary layers of self and the detached nature of modern life.
“This song was born out of a weird time when I was pretty numb and nihilistic, living deep in my own head, wandering around in some kind of fugue state”, Cheshire explains. “A bad break up and too much doom scrolling left me open to any and all possibilities, taking whichever path that would present itself without really caring too much about the consequences. Oscillating between high and low without any ballast to keep me grounded, I think I was just a bit lost.”
Inspired by the concept of Multiverse, time corridors, the Astral Plane and dystopian rabbit hole our world appears to have headed down, Jack Cheshire’s fifth album, is a unique and bewitching brew. Elements of art pop, psychedelia, space rock, jazz plus the wide-eyed psych folk Cheshire has become known for combine to great effect. This is the sound of an artist hitting his stride; a haunting and cosmic ride through a cluster of shimmering constellations and heady psychic landscapes.
‘I increasingly felt as though I was an extra in an extended episode of Black Mirror. The world was going toxic and strange and it stirred up lots of cerebral sediment for me. There was a sheen of unreality to it that made me realise how complacent I’d been and how naïve I was. I found myself joking with friends; ‘we’ve gone down a dystopian wormhole, it’s not supposed to be like this.’ It made me imagine multiple timelines playing out, fractals of various imagined or lost futures.’
The album was recorded in 2019, produced by long-term collaborator // drummer Jon Scott and tracked between Jack’s house and Jon’s studio.
‘I had all these songs swimming round my head and a strong vision for the record in my mind, so Jon set me up with Reaper and got me to multi-track everything on my computer. Before long we committed to making the album together DIY. Working song by song I would arrange and record everything I had, then send it over to Jon. He’d add beats // percussion and reply with notes. We’d then exchange iterations until it was finished.’
“In the novel, Slaughterhouse 5, Vonneguts’ protagonist is abducted by aliens who experience time as a non-linear continuum; everything infinitely occurring simultaneously throughout each respective beings timeline. Once he spends enough time with them and fully grasps this concept, his perception is permanently altered and he begins to exist in the same way. He subsequently jumps between points in his life in a bewildering blur. I think, on one level, Vonnegut is using this as an allegory for trauma and our inability to fully process and move on from seismic things that have shaped our lives. The spectre of them looms wherever we are, and can overtake our current surroundings in an instant. But I also think it’s an interesting take on the passage of time, which is, after all, a human construct. He viewed us as a species in a deep and cosmic way, from a timeless and intergalactic perspective. He understood the absurdity of our constructed life templates and modes of being.
I had a dream, no doubt inspired by this, where I was guided by voices down a time corridor and visions of various moments in my life, past present and future, were playing out in infinite loops. It felt utterly real, and I was haunted by it for weeks.
Sometimes when I am halfway between sleep and consciousness, all the synapses in my brain have dilated and I am swimming through that eerie distended time. I feel like I’m in touch with disparate moments from my life, different versions of myself; as if time is an accordion that has been completely compressed, and I am floating in every chamber simultaneously. In Fractal Future Plays I am trying to channel that. It is an album inspired by time and our journey through it.”