WHILE SHE SLEEPS Release Video For "Down" Single Feat. MALEVOLENCE Singer ALEX TAYLOR; Self Hell Album Due In March
December 7, 2023, 2 months ago
A new chapter in the While She Sleeps story is firmly underway. After introducing a subversive new twist on their sound with the single "Self Hell" (also the title track to their new album which follows on March 29), the band powered into their biggest ever headline show at the 10,000 capacity Alexandra Palace to deliver a high intensity show in which their performance was equalled by their ambitious visuals.
Now While She Sleeps bring the curtain down on 2023 and line up an even bigger 2024 as they share the new single "Down", which features Alex Taylor of fellow Sheffield band, Malevolence. The track is accompanied by an exceptional video, which the band made DIY-style as a labour of love project.
While "Down" is informed by the band’s desire to bring a whirlwind of fresh sonic influences to the fore, it nonetheless maintains the fierce aggression that typified the band’s roots. The track opens with an ominous blare of an MS-20 synth, before grinding heavyweight riffs, industrial-tinged beats and a soaring melodic hook heighten its intensity. Completed by a ferocious verse from Alex Taylor, "Down" is indicative of where While She Sleeps are going in 2024: a maximalist, anything-goes attitude powered by swagger and self-belief.
Guitarist Sean Long says, “‘Down’ has been a central pillar in the new album throughout the writing process of Self Hell. Loz was completely on fire and it gave a reminiscent early Sleeps style to the track. The working title for this song was ‘Film-Riffs’ simply because it sounded like it could be in an action movie. And it will. That’s exactly what it is. A high-intensity new sound that you can’t not bang your head to. It was one of the first demos that we knew would be an integral part of the album, it houses all elements of the last 10+ years, yet we have also taken steps to excite ourselves in new areas and introduced new sounds to our advantage. The unmistakable MS20 has made its footprint on the new sound of Sleeps and gives the song an instant identity as soon as it starts.
"The song is about our deepest desire to feel free from the grips of our own compulsions; trauma, past, society, and everything in between. While we all face this journey in life there are always obstacles that hinder our progress on the path. More often than not these manifests in the form of people who simply get in the way of your freedom and bring you down.”
The accompanying video was directed and edited by the band, which was structured by editing together 1175 still photos - approximately five photographs of each second of the video. Factor in a characteristically explosive performance from the band, a larger-than-life guest appearance from Alex Taylor, 15 litres of paint, 7 cans of spray paint, 2 fire extinguishers and a box of fireworks, and you have an idea of the barely controlled chaos that ensues. The video will be available soon in flick-book form, a soft back version that you can sync with the audio to create a unique physical viewing experience.
Mat Welsh adds, “The video is created from the core of our ethos, we wanted to make something that embodied the attitude of Sleeps, in our most natural environment. In a time where AI is taking over and technology is everywhere you turn, the idea behind the video was to take things in the opposite direction by physically delivering the lyrics and emotion of the song. Using only ourselves, a small space, some paint and the creativity and expression we harness, it took us seven days to shoot and we definitely underestimated the level of detail it required. The shortest road doesn’t equal the best journey and we believe that good things come through focus and hard work. This video is a testament to that.”
Self Hell is available to pre-order here. Formats include black/white swirl and neo-orange vinyl, both of which are packaged with a signed photo, as well as a CD.
The album was produced by their long-term collaborator Carl Bown and the band’s guitarist, Sean Long. While She Sleeps - completed by Lawrence ‘Loz’ Taylor (vocals), Mat Welsh (guitar), Aaran Mckenzie (bass) and Adam Savage (drums) - recorded the album during sessions at Metropolis Studios in London, Treehouse Studio in Chesterfield, and their own Six Audio in Sheffield.
"Peace Of Mind"
"Leave Me Alone"
"No Feeling Is Final"
"To The Flowers"
"Out Of The Blue"
"Radical Hatred / Radical Love"
"Self Hell" video: