Legendary and seminal New Zealand band The Bats have made an official announcement of the release of a new album entitled ‘Foothills’ to be released through Flying Nun Records on 13 November 2020. To mark this auspicious occasion, The Bats have released a single, ‘Warwick’, as a very delicious taste of what is to come.
It is incredible that the band has maintained the same lineup for 38 years and there has been a singular thread of brilliance running through the decades. Central figure Robert Scott says of making the album:
Time marches on… finally, we found a gap in our busy lives and chose a week to convene. We found a house that is usually inhabited by ski field workers — Kowai Bush, near Springfield about an hour west of Christchurch and of course nestled in the foothills of the mighty Southern Alps. The songs had been written, demo’d and arranged for some time, but still with a little room for trying things out in the studio. Many carloads arrived at the house, full of amps guitars and recording gear, we set up camp and soon made it feel like home; coloured lights, a log fire, and home cooked meals in the kitchen. We worked fast, and within a few days had all the basic backing tracks done, live together in one room, the way we like to do it – it’s all about ‘the feel’ for songs like ours.
For aficionados of the Dunedin scene in the eighties (and certainly I’ve waxed lyrical about this golden age incessantly), this is indeed exciting news, particularly following the recent burst of activity from their compatriots The Chills.
The single is a warm enveloping return with the hallmark jangling wall of chiming guitars and the bitter-sweet melodies and jugular-targeting rhythms:
Utter pop perfection as ever, buoyed by a sense of maturity and a steady presence.
‘Foothills’ was recorded in Spring 2018 at a country retreat pop-up studio. At that time, 15 songs were recorded in the Canterbury foothills of the Southern Alps, Aotearoa (New Zealand). The dramatic landscape a fitting tableaux from which to work from.
Foothills Track List:
1.Trade In Silence
3. Beneath The Visor
5. Another Door
6. Red Car
7. Field of Vision
8. Change Is All
9. As You Were
10. Smaller Pieces
11. Gone to Ground
12. Electric Sea View