BLACK WATER COUNTY have shared their new single, CRUEL STATE OF MIND, the second chapter in a series of singles over the summer and the autumn leading to the release of their third studio album, The Only Life Worth Living, later in the year. Like its predecessor – the album’s title track – Cruel State Of Mind is fast-paced and frenetic, at times thrillingly banjo-led, and always urgent and memorable, but this time with a more tortured subplot, as the band explain:

Cruel State Of Mind is our own familiar love song for the ages, full to the brim of agonised imagery – ‘like the deaf leading the blind’ and ‘full circle, like Sisyphus’ stone’ – and we wanted to hammer home the feeling of thoughts going round and round your head with no respite. The song hits its climax with a passionate U-turn – ‘Something’s got to give’ and ‘’I’ll leave it all behind unless it leads me back to you’ – ultimately ending up where we started in the hope of love’s return, but can we ever escape our own vicious cycles?

Despite the recent dystopian environment the human race has had to endure with the undoing of habits and the re-writing of thought patterns, there are some things that will never NOT be tangled up in the human experience. This exasperated love song serves us all: past, present and future.”

Cruel State Of Mind comes accompanied by a video dashed with horror but, in true Black Water County style, always with an irreverence and dark humour. Watch the video here:

The single and album were recorded with their close friend and long-term producer Lewis Johns at the Ranch in Southampton. “He’s once again worked his magic,” say the band with genuine gratitude, “to create a record that we couldn’t be more proud of.”

To coincide with the album release, the band will play a full headline UK tour later this year, which includes a hometown date at Bournemouth Old Fire Station, the only show where they will be performing their new album in its entirety, complete with special guests, live strings and brass.


Thu         09           NOTTINGHAM                      Rescue Rooms

Fri           10           LONDON                               Camden Assembly

Sat          11           BRISTOL                                 Thekla

Sun         12           PLYMOUTH                           Junction

Thu         16           LEEDS                                     Key Club

Fri           17           NEWCASTLE                          Anarchy Brew

Sat          18           GLASGOW                             Audio


Sat          16           BOURNEMOUTH                  Old Fire Station

Tickets available from:

Hailing from the South West and now celebrating a decade making music together, the award-winning Black Water County have deviated over time from the well-trodden path of alcohol-fueled teenage insolence to a vigilant state of introversion. Gone is that insolence, replaced by an aspiration to glean affinity through stories of the downtrodden and the heartbroken. With a necessary touch of both spirit and spirits, naturally.

In 2017 the band independently released their debut album, Taking Chances, and embarked on their first UK tour before signing with the renowned booking agency Midnight Mango the following year. The subsequent two years saw three national headline tours, gaining ever-increasing audiences, sold-out shows and a number of support slots across the UK playing with genre-diverse bands.

Black Water County also twice earned a place on the Fireball Fueling The Fire tour supporting legendary acts such as Less Than Jake, Flogging Molly, The Bronx and The Skints.

Ultimately it was Black Water County who landed themselves on the stage with Flogging Molly. The Emerald Isle-influenced five piece started the first moshpit of the evening and cemented themselves as firm favourites …” KERRANG

The band’s second album, Comedies and Tragedies in 2020, was again independently released, but just three days after its release the plug was pulled on the album tour when the global pandemic hit the UK. When venue doors finally reopened, the band emerged back into the live music world in March 2022 with a celebratory first headline show at Bournemouth O2 Academy. The spring of 2022 saw another sell-out UK tour before an even bigger national tour in the autumn.

The band’s prestigious UK festival appearances have included WOMAD, Boomtown Fair, Beautiful Days, Belladrum, Black Deer, Camp Bestival, Larmer Tree, Teddy Rocks and Takedown, alongside hundreds of further festival appearances in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands and France.

A beautiful cacophony of distilled folk-punk bliss …” LONDON CELTIC PUNKS

2023 is a year of evolution for Black Water County, a new age of refined direction and purpose. A time to embrace the promise of the next decade to come.

Black Water County are:

Shan Borovnicke Byrom – vocals and tin whistle

Tim Harris – vocals and bass

Bradley Hutchings Clarke – guitar

Gavin Coles – guitar, mandolin and banjo

Ollie Beaton – drums






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