Single Review: Black Country, New Road – Snow Globes
Aran Grover reviews the new single from Black Country, New Road, ‘Snow Globes’.
With the sad and surprising departure of singer-guitarist Isaac Wood from the entourage of Black Country, New Road, the future for the band is thus far unclear, however this fact makes the impact of the forthcoming album even more significant. The latest offering in the series of singles for the album, Ants from Up There, is an epic, noisy, emotional crescendo.
Having heard the song live before, the raw energy of the drums was awe-inspiring However, the recording has left some fans uninspired or underwhelmed. There is a discordancy between the rigid, melodic instrumentation and the wild, untamed drumming, creating for some a jarring contrast of beauty and aggression. For me though, I don’t see this as a huge issue; I think the rigidity of the other instruments leaves a space for the drums to create energy and take the stage, making the track feel more unhinged and suspenseful. With this being said, the mixing towards the end of the track leaves a little to be desired, as the drums do slightly drown out the rest of the instrumentation and even the strained screams of Isaac Wood.
Out of the instruments here, I found the violins to be especially poignant and beautiful, being the only remaining instrument at the end of the track before the outro, with a distinctly classical flavour, perhaps echoing a romanticised image of winter, as is the theme of the song.
The lyrics are relatively inextricable, yet with emotional resonance, as is the trend with Wood’s writing. The refrain “God of Weather, Henry knows, Snowglobes don’t shake on their own” suggests an impending loneliness, futile to reconcile. The speaker knows they are lost. Perhaps they are the titular Snow Globe, waiting to be shaken by the figure Henry, knowing that without them, they are left unlively and flat.
While the track suffers from mixing issues and the instrumentation leaves some jarred and put off, I think this track still holds up, especially live, which makes Wood’s departure from the band even more heartbreaking as never again will we see them perform this song, nor any others from the forthcoming album. Fear not though, as the band still boast a set of 6 extremely talented young musicians and songwriters (notably Georgia Ellery of Jockstrap), and we can only look forward to what they will accomplish down the line.
Listen to Snow Globes now on all platforms.
Ants from Up There is out 4th February.