Preoccupations

Joel Voorman

Canada’s Preoccupations are known for their truly transformative live shows

They have released their fourth studio LP, ‘Arrangements.’ The album begins with the pounding metallic slash of guitar strings of “Fix Bayonets!”. It’s harsh and desolate at first but builds into a thrilling synth sprint. The track —from its call-to-arms title and tense first guitar phrases to its whirlwind evolution— sets the stage for what is to come: a Preoccupations record that weaves their guitar-heavy origins with their newer synth-based work. The result is Arrangements, a record that is at once the band’s most intense, engaging, and playful work yet.  

On the album release, vocalist Matt Flegel says “I’m certain that I’ve been writing about the same bleak things over and over again throughout the lifespan of Preoccupations. This time around the themes of isolation, anxiety, trepidation, imminent self-annihilation, fear of totalitarianism, and general malaise unintentionally all feel a little more relevant than they have in the past. I guess that’s not a great sign, but I think we’ve taken this culmination of dark things, and turned it into something that can happily be listened to loudly, and that is maybe even…fun?

The album’s title —like that of their 2018 LP ‘New Material’— is literal and cheeky, a sharp contrast to the band’s sonic aesthetic. Having finished it entirely on their own, the band has decided to self-release the record outside of Canada. Long-time co-conspirators Flemish Eye will handle the record’s Canadian release.


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