Bicep release ‘Saku’ taken from their forthcoming album ‘Isles’ out January 22nd on Ninja Tune. Featuring vocalist Clara La San—who has previously worked with the likes of Yves Tumor—whose honey-sweet vocals feint toward UK Garage over ‘Saku’s slowed down, footwork influenced polyrhythms before diving, chest-first, into cosmic synths. Like 90’s RnB channelled through peak John Carpenter, it’s a track that demands, and rewards, multiple listens and is suffused with the melancholic undercurrent that gives “Isles” much of its cathartic punch.
“We aim to pull influences from a broad range of inspiration when we write music, our tracks often go through many iterations and directions before we settle on the final ingredients,” explain Bicep. “‘Saku’ feels like a good example of a hybrid for us. We drew from IDM and Footwork via 90s R’n’B, and it was amazing to work with Clara who totally gets that vibe. One of the early demos was 155 BPM and another actually used the vocal from ‘Apricots’ (before it became ‘Apricots’) pitched up. We also had a hang drum melody version but in the end, we decided to keep Clara’s voice uncluttered”
‘Saku’ follows on from recent single ‘Apricots’, which was released simultaneously alongside a soulful and disorienting stop-motion video by director Mark Jenkin. Named ‘Hottest Record’ by BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, ‘Apricots’ was described as “bittersweet dance music at its best” by Stereogum, as being “built for maximum poignancy at sunset” by The Guardian, with Resident Advisor noting that the soon to follow live version would “undoubtedly be a hands-in-the-air moment.” with additional support from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Times, Notion, Mixmag, DJ, Clash, DIY and many more. Both tracks follow ‘Atlas’—the first track drawn from the record and released to massive acclaim in March, and which made both the BBC Radio 1 and Radio 6 playlists—its euphoric energy and bittersweet heft hitting home all the harder in those uncertain times.
With the live music & touring industry in a state of flux, and following the huge success of their recent ticketed Livestream—one of the first of its kind for an electronic artist, broadcast across 5 different timezones, and watched by people in over 70 countries, dancing in their living rooms to makeshift sound systems—Bicep will return with another unique performance on February 26th 2021. Comprising an extended live performance, with additional warm-up act to be announced, the show will be filmed in London and will once again feature visuals from close BICEP LIVE collaborator Black Box Echo. The broadcast will be another opportunity for fans to experience a mixture of reimagined versions of tracks from their back catalogue as well as new tunes from upcoming album “Isles” across an extended set.
The duo hope to soon be able to announce details for their two forthcoming Brixton Academy shows—both of which sold-out in a matter of minutes, and amassed a 10,000 person waiting list once tickets were all gone—as well as additional headline dates across the UK, EU and US, including a headline slot at Field Day in London, as well as performances at Parklife, Roskilde, Creamfields, Primavera, MELT! And more.
Listen to ‘Saku (feat. Clara La San)’ – BELOW:
The second episode of their monthly ‘FeelMyBicep Radio’ shows on Apple Music was also broadcast earlier this month, with each instalment giving listeners an insight into the music that has shaped everything in the world of Bicep, shows are set to continue throughout the coming year.
“Isles” is released physically & digitally on January 22nd 2021. Tickets for their upcoming live performance are on sale now via bicepmusic.com.
2021 Tour Dates (subject to change):
18-Feb Triannon, Paris, FR
19-Feb Triannon, Paris, FR
09-Mar AB, Brussels, BE
26-Mar Telegraph Building, Belfast, UK
02-Apr District 8, Dublin, IE
03-Apr District 8, Dublin, IE
05-Jun Primavera Sound, Barcelona, ES
30-Jun Roskilde, Roskilde, DK
02-Jul Down the Rabbit Hole, Beuningen, NL
03-Jul Rock Werchter, Leuven, BE
09-Jul BBK Live, Bilbao, ES
10-Jul Field Day, London, UK
28-Aug Creamfields, Daresbury, UK
30-Oct Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, NL
04-Dec WHP, Manchester, UK
TBC O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK
TBC Electric Brixton Afterparty, London, UK
TBC O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK
TBC SWG3 Glasgow, UK