Hot Garbage Share “Mystery” Single + Video

Toronto rockers Hot Garbage recently announced details on their upcoming sophomore album, Precious Dream, which is set to drop on January 19, 2024, via Mothland and EXAG’ Records. Following the release of the LP’s first single and opening track “Snooze You Lose,” the band returns today with a second single entitled “Mystery.” Watch the music video for “Mystery” here.

“Mystery” delivers the curious story of Judy and Billy amidst a fuzzed-out riff with a twisted surf twang. After successfully summoning Davie Allan’s long-lost Mosrite, the Toronto psych-rockers elect to delve deep into chromaesthesia, painting a stylish musical fresco about voluntary amnesia and blissful confusion. The track builds and builds, reaching an intense, swirling climax – a familiar feeling for those acquainted with the band’s previous work –  before dropping the listener back into the song’s hypnotizing guitar hook, effectively leaving them to wonder: “What was this all about?”

Photo by 1upcloud

Though the band’s signature tinge of moody, heavy psychedelia remains present on Precious Dream (as seen through these two singles), their forthcoming sophomore album careens at high speeds into a darker world of searing post-punk riffs, grappling with themes of dread, loss, the resilience of the human spirit and the highs and lows of solitude. From the onset, elegant yet brutalist sonic architectures provide the scenery for an escape route, while cryptic poetic spurts act as surreal signage. By the end of the journey, we are left with a strangely pleasant void, but also with an uncontrollable urge to backtrack into the outfit’s beautiful 36-minute musical trap.

True to form, prolific producer Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck, No Joy, !!!, etc.) – with whom, Hot Garbage recorded their critically-acclaimed debut full-length, RIDE – does right by the band, masterfully harnessing the four-piece’s unique brand of rock & roll, setting in motion a parallel universe where phones are not what they seem, lobotomy has its merits, lower is actually better, and tunnels stretch the very fabric of spacetime. Fans of Sonic Youth, Frankie and the Witch Fingers or Joy Division should welcome a confused stroll down this romantic if dystopian opus, for a cathartic and tender sense of resolution, awaits.

Stay tuned for the full-length Precious Dream LP, arriving January 19 via Mothland / EXAG’ Records.

Featured Interview:

How would you best describe your forthcoming LP, Precious Dream, and how does it support the previously established Hot Garbage narrative?

It’s a collection of songs that were written mostly in isolation. It delves into some heavier themes like loss, dread, and dystopia but also has moments of hope. There are commonalities with the last album especially in the production, having worked with Graham Walsh on both. But the approach on Precious Dream was totally different, not necessarily by choice. We explored ways of writing and sharing songs without being in the same room and only really put it all together once the songs were more or less complete, so the distinctive voices of individual songwriters show through a bit more.

How does this new single “Mystery” continue the full-length record’s general sonic and thematic storyline? Or would you say the tracks exist more separately on that front?

Because of the isolated approach to writing for this album, the tracks do exist somewhat separately, but of course, there is a huge common thread of shared experience during a very strange time that undeniably brings the songs together in a thematic sense.

Mystery is one of the songs that Alex wrote that sonically calls back some of our older material by featuring a freakout with building tension that really shakes up an otherwise pretty sparse, attitude-driven vibe. I think how that moment of intensity would translate in a live setting was also a factor in piecing it together.

For this new track’s accompanying music video contains an element of haunted, funhouse surrealism — where did you derive inspiration from? And how did that initial idea get translated into the final product seen here?

The idea was mostly built around this strange little playhouse in a park we frequently walk through that conjured up some surreal, campy horror imagery. The creepy, haunted part is partially based on the song’s mood and partially because there’s an undeniable temptation to go a little horror when shooting around Halloween (our favorite holiday).

We worked with directors Michael Goodin and Nika Belianina who come from a film background and they helped build the story arc and visual themes. It was a long, cold, overnight shoot but Mark as the penguin made it all worthwhile.

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