The Answer have announced the release of their eagerly anticipated new album Solas via Napalm Records on October 28th. The first track to be taken from the new album is the melancholic ‘Beautiful World’.
Co-written with former Massive Attack producer / composer, Neil Davidge, ‘Beautiful World’ is bathed in a dark, cinematic eeriness, juxtaposing with its optimistic title, before evolving into an explosive, retro rock stomper.
You can listen to it below:
A decade into the band’s career, Solas marks a significant turning point for The Answer and in particular lead singer Cormac Neeson. After their 2015 US Raise A Little Hell tour, the band returned to a scene of utter emotional and financial chaos with matters escalating further for Neeson, when his newly born son, Dabhog, arrived into the world three months premature with multiple health issues. After four months of fighting for his life in a nightmarish world of ventilators, blood transfusions and an enveloping fear of the unknown, it was time for The Answer to return yielding a newfound strength. For this they turned inwards to their culture, and their deep-rooted sense of ‘Irishness’.
Not turning their back on their blues-filled rock anthems, ‘Demon Driven Man’ is perfect rock’n’roll fare, grounded as ever by drummer James Heatley’s remorseless beat, but it is the epic ‘Battle Cry (Seo An La Mo Laoch Mo Ghra)’, a six-minute call to arms featuring elements of Celtic music, a Gaelic vocal chant, windswept rock and even thunderous Samba rhythms, which best epitomises the old and new of The Answer.
Having gone back to their roots and rediscovered their inner selves Solas is an honest and brave album that panders to no label, to no media framework and to no rules. It is dark, occasionally menacing and at certain moments, joyous and uplifting. It is a record that bears the scars and soul of four talented men from Northern Ireland; sometimes troubled but seeking creative liberation.
The symbol that sits on the front cover, the ancient Celtic sign for ‘illumination’, bears witness to this 2016 musical evolution. The Answer are firmly embarked upon a new journey having been through the darkest period in their relatively brief rock history.