The Levellers have shared the brand new track ‘Four Boys Lost’, which is taken from their forthcoming new studio album Peace, due for release on the 14th August.
The track tells the story of a tragic accident which happened off the coast of a remote Scottish island in which only one man survived. “That was the sum total of their young male population wiped out in one night. People were there, pulling the bodies of their friends out of the water,” bassist Jeremy Cunningham adds who was told the story from a friend and was inspired to pen the song.
The track is only available to stream for two weeks via the accompanying video, which was produced by Nick Parker and is the first in a series of stop motion animations that will be released. It sees the band discussing the story and the writing process before delving into a lucid dreamlike video of singer and guitarist Simon Friend singing amidst the crashing waves of the ocean.
Over the coming weeks the Levellers will stream a unique video, and interview, for every track from the album, each one available to view for a limited period of time. The band will also be releasing certain tracks as official singles which will be available to stream across all DSPs, and to download with pre-orders of the album. Those singles will also have official videos alongside the animated versions.
The new video for ‘Four Boys Lost’ follows the release of the first single from the album ‘Food Roof Family’, which came out in February. Its video confronted the misleading and deceptive tactics used by the media to marginalise the vulnerable and the track is also the opening salvo on the new album, setting the scene for a record where the Levellers are fearless in tackling the big subjects.
A very timely yet reflective collection, Peace is an album about the state of the world and of the band’s mind. “It’s an aspirational title,” says Levellers singer/guitarist Mark Chadwick. “We’re searching for peace. I’m not a religious man, but it feels like the devil is walking the earth right now, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope.”
Its 11 electrifying songs are a charged reaction to a world that seems to be teetering on the edge of madness and self-destruction. The environment is buckling under the weight of humanity’s disregard, which ‘Ghosts In The Water’ address in chillingly poetic terms against a timeless folk-fueled anthem.
Meanwhile ‘Albion And Phoenix’ features Chadwick and Friend sharing vocal duties and is inspired by a squatted brewer named The Phoenix on Brighton’s Albion Hill. The track is riotous and upbeat and serves as both a celebration of the Levellers’ past and a warning against the suffocating nature of nostalgia.
Perhaps timelier than ever, ‘Burning Hate Like Fire’ is a commentary on the cycle of anxiety, negativity and grimness that comes with living in the fast-moving modern world. Yet for all the tensions and anxiety that underpins it, Peace is ultimately a hopeful album. It’s there, too, in the final line of ‘Our Future’, the album’s closing track: “Our future is the only thing worth thinking about,” sings Chadwick with a voice urgent with hope.
Peace arrives almost eight years since the Brighton band’s last album of original material, 2012’s Static On The Airwaves, though the band – completed by Jon Sevink (fiddle), Charlie Heather (drums) and Matt Savage (keyboards) – have been far from idle.