Fresh from their appearance at SXSW, Newcastle via Brighton trio Demob Happy have shared their new single and video ‘Run Baby Run’ (stream here). The track is taken from the band’s forthcoming third album Divine Machines, due for release May 26th via Liberator Music.
A sci-fi cautionary tale from a distant planet, ‘Run Baby Run’ sees Demob Happy bestow brooding rock at its most compelling, with all encompassing crescendos yearning for true liberation. Speaking further about the track the band say “It’s the last cry of hope from the only one who saw it coming, where two realities exist side by side, one accepted and one denied – the enforced corporate consensus and the paradigm shifting truth of it all. Like The Stepford Wives or the last days of Rome, the sickly veneer grows thinner, so the lies are made ever more cartoonish as the reality becomes harder to deny. It’s a false paradise where two paths emerge: to be blissfully ignorant or accept an uncomfortable reality.”
Kicking off 2023 with a bang, Demob Happy announced their new album Divine Machines in January, their first on new label Liberator Music. The trio hailed in the new era with the raucous ‘Voodoo Science’, earning the covers of The Rock List and New Noise on Spotify and wracking up several plays on BBC Radio 1 with Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders, with the latter stating “it’s like Daft Punk got abandoned in the desert and found by Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age.” ‘Voodoo Science’ saw further support from Rolling Stone UK, DIY, CLASH, Dork, Upset, Official Charts, Notion and Louder who made the single one of their tracks of the week.
History has shown that a band’s third album is when shit starts to get real – their particular alchemy stamps its personality in ways that no other configuration of individuals can do; when the outside voices have been tempered and all that’s left is a perfect cocktail of confidence, skill and momentum. It’s a theory that’s been proven time and time again, and one that Demob Happy are underlining with their third album Divine Machines; one that harnesses their delicate tightrope of heaviness and melody, sweetness and riffs, and rides it up to the stratosphere.
The cornerstone influences – a sprinkle of Queens of the Stone Age swagger; a splash of glam; a Lennon-like knack for melody – remain present, but utilised in ways that rely wholly on Matthew Marcantonio, Adam Godfrey and Thomas Armstrong’s specific magic as a unit: one that values a “janky guitar solo” as much as it does a beautifully-crafted, unexpected love song.
Aesthetically embracing a Blade Runner-esque sci-fi leaning, lyrically Divine Machines finds the band swerving from the political corruption and modern world dystopias that they’ve previously detailed, and yearning for something more hopeful, that starts from within. Frontman Matthew says “I really see what’s happening to the human race as a moment in a hero’s journey. We’re at the point in the James Bond film where the villains reveal themselves and tell us the plan. We’ve got Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, these absolute supervillains with their rockets doing whatever the fuck they want, and software guru Bill Gates buying vast swathes of farmland for who knows what. They’re all revealing their plans to humanity and we’re all still going, ‘I hope they’re the good guys!'”
“What we need is inspiration to change because we only win this war if the change starts with us. There’s huge ripples of that in society, and it’s distorted through social media, but you can see people becoming more self-aware. That’s what I wanted to write about – inspiring that change.”
Since forming more than a decade ago back in hometown Newcastle, Demob Happy have earned every increasingly exciting career milestone through a combination of hard graft and gritty determination that would KO most bands. They’ve gigged incessantly, building on the excitement surrounding 2015 debut album Dream Soda with NME saying “the band balance heaviness with hooks, antagonism with hedonism”, and 2018’s Holy Doom which DIY proclaimed as an “absolute stormer”. Their albums and string of knock out singles since 2019 have seen the band amass well over 45 million collective streams.
They’ve toured the USA four times, gigged with Jack White, Band Of Skulls, Royal Blood, The Amazons (with White even inviting the band on stage to jam), opened the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, headlined London’s iconic SCALA and received critical acclaim from The Guardian, Independent, DIY, Kerrang, The Line of Best Fit, Dork, BBC Radio 1 and many more. In between all that, they’ve continued to meticulously hone the inner workings of their practice, with Matthew fine-tuning his production chops to the point where they can take everything in-house.
Divine Machines as a whole is a record that Demob Happy had to build towards. It’s the product not just of a strange extended period of work – both on the album and on themselves – but of an entire career spent putting in the hours, believing tirelessly in what they’re doing and, slowly but surely, watching the world start to believe in it too. As Matthew affirms: “We’ve never chased the dragon of success, even though we’ve been encouraged to, but we’re not interested in doing it like that. We’ve always done what we wanted, but now it seems like it might align with what other people want as well.”
DEMOB HAPPY ALBUM RELEASE SHOWS – TICKETS
Friday 26th May – Rough Trade East, London
Saturday 27th May – Resident, Brighton
Sunday 28th May – Rough Trade Records – Bristol
Monday 29th May – Jacaranda Records, Phase One – Liverpool
Tuesday 30th May – Vinyl Whistle, Leeds
Wednesday 31st May – Rough Trade, Nottingham
Thursday 1st June – Banquet Records Signing, Kingston Upon Thames
DIVINE MACHINES TRACKLISTING:
- Token Appreciation Society
- Voodoo Science
- Earth Mover
- Tear It Down
- Muscular Reflex
- She’s As Happy As A Man Can Be
- Run Baby Run
- I Have A Problem (I Ignore)
- Divine Machines
- Hades, Baby