THE BLACKHEART ORCHESTRA celebrate the release of their new album with a video for the song 'Astronaut'

The Blackheart Orchestra

Today The Blackheart Orchestra share the video for 'Astronaut'. The Blackheart Orchestra are Manchester-based multi-instrumentalists Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington, who take a wide range of influences from artists such as Sigur Ros, Bat For Lashes and Bjork.

Together they combine contemporary rock with electronica, atmospherics and classical styling to create a unique brand of ethereal art-rock that is laden with pop hooks and poetry, raw emotions and philosophy. They are frequently compared to such diverse artists as Cocteau Twins, early Pink Floyd, Portishead and Kate Bush, as well as contemporary composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

The band’s 2019 album Mesmeranto reached #16 on the UK Indie Chart, #18 on the UK Rock Chart, #4 in the USA’s Big Takeover Albums of the Year and was voted twice in the Rock Writers’ Top 20 Albums of the Year. The album received unanimous praise from the likes of Louder Than War, PROG magazine, RnR and No Depression, as well as gaining recognition and applause from musical peers, including Genesis’ Steve Hackett and Motörhead’s Phil Campbell. They won Best British Duo. They were voted #4 Best New Band in the UK. Chrissy was recently voted #5 Best Female Vocalist in PROG Magazine’s Readers’ Poll, and their lockdown online concert series The Big Armchair Concerts was voted #10 in Most Important Rock Events of 2020.

The band’s new album Hotel Utopia finds them at their most mesmerising, haunting best.

Never afraid to take on the most daunting subjects, Mesmeranto was based on the concept of death, inspired by Mostyn’s mother, who was nearing the end of her life. Now Hotel Utopia takes a musical look at the afterlife. The 13 songs discuss the one mystery that has troubled every human animal that ever lived. What happens after life? Whether we believe in God with a capital G, with a small g or believe in no g at all, Hotel Utopia is a collection of 13 songs that discusses our fear of the mystery of the moment the light goes out. Or does it?

It’s a record that doesn’t attempt to answer that question but provokes the listener’s thoughts while holding their hand along a musical journey that meditates on our fears and fantasies of ‘heaven’ stopping off en route at murder, suicide, the end of the world and reincarnation as we all approach the unknown mystery of our own personal Hotel Utopia.

Opening song ‘The Tide’ deals with the end of a loved life, a song Chrissy wrote about her mother’s passing and the impact the subsequent grief had on her body and spirit. ‘Under The Headlights’ sees every life as part of something bigger and features a historic recording of the voice of 1960s British philosopher Alan Watts. Amplifying the thought, the video was shot just three feet from the edge of the 531ft high cliffs at Birling Gap, South Downs, sadly the world’s third most popular suicide location. ‘The Warning’ looks at the death of the earth, and is a melancholic call to arms to a species seemingly dedicated to self-destruction, whilst ‘Astronaut’ is a child’s naïve vision of life ahead ultimately replaced by reality.

Continuing with these themes, songs such as ‘Alive’, ‘A Dangerous Thing’ and ‘Dust’ examine the sanctity of life, love, the mystery of death and the pain of bereavement. Whilst ‘Casting Spells’ playfully asks is someone keeping a tally on our behaviour and is the afterlife a spin of the wheel based on our track record? ‘Atlantic’ illustrates a fantasy journey of reincarnation, an underwater dream state of the subconscious mind. Whilst the final track, ‘The Flood’, is about apocalyptic endings, yet rebirths and new beginnings. It is the perfect closing to extraordinary album – The Blackheart Orchestra’s most mesmerising and ambitious to date.

Watch the video for 'Astronaut' - BELOW:

1. The Tide
2. Under The Headlights
3. Safe
4. The Warning
5. Astronaut
6. Alive
7. A Dangerous Thing
8. Casting Spells
9. Dust
10. Atlantic
11. Translucent
12. Raise Your Heart
13. The Flood

The Blackheart Orchestra are currently on a promotional UK tour:

Oct 12 CHELMSFORD A Canteen
Oct 13 BRIGHTON Brunswick
Oct 16 POOLE Sound Cellar
Oct 20 BANBURY The Mill Arts Centre
Oct 23 SHEFFIELD Greystones

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