After a gap of four years, Maxïmo Park have returned with a new track, Child Of the Flatlands, and an accompanying visual art piece from experimental designer, visual artist, and recent Daniel Avery collaborator Greg Hodgson.

Casting its lyrical net into the waters of urban life, surrounded, indeed often overtaken by the persistent grip of nature, Paul Smith from the band says “Child Of The Flatlands is an affectionate look at both the psychic and physical edgelands of the town where I grew up, punctuated by snapshots of modern Britain as viewed from a distant hillside. It’s about the inevitability of nature (in all senses of the word) over the order we try to impose on it. The quiet, melancholy choruses lament the loss of community spaces for marginalised people, and the overall pace is meant to evoke a long walk, collaging found sound, strings and insistent piano to create a mildly psychedelic pop odyssey. 

We commissioned Greg Hodgson to reflect the distorted blur of youth through his VHS lens, and to create a dreamlike vision of Teesside that reflects the episodic nature of the music. Hopefully viewers will recognise something of their own youth, playing in places where nature encroaches upon the urban landscape.”

The industrial of the track certainly comes out through this 80s Sheffield influenced synth-pop, dark and hollow sounding at its outset, with Smith’s affecting vocal and sharply observed lyrics laid out on top. As it gradually flowers, so warmth is added with strings and bubbling synths as nature takes over, Smith suddenly shifting to softer tones, before euphoria breaks out with the guitar solo.

Brilliant stuff. Check it out, here

Maxïmo Park are today teasing their first new music in nearly four years. New track Child of The Flatlands is accompanied by a visual art piece from experimental designer and video artist – and recent Daniel Avery collaborator – Greg Hodgson.

Child Of The Flatlands is a psychological and geographical rumination on the push-and-pull between our urban surrounds and the persistent grip of nature. With Paul Smith as no stranger to the art of conjuring vivid imagery with his words, the song offers a longing look at the locations that hold such great meaning in youth, and how they inform identity, going on to grieve their gradual loss through the passage of time. Hodgson’s warping and kaleidoscopic VHS eye casts Teesside as a smudged memory, or half-forgotten dream-like state, in an echo of where the band takes the song. Paul Smith comments:

Hear Child Of The Flatlands on DSPs here.

Watch Greg Hodgson’s piece for Child Of The Flatlands below.