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Maribou State — the duo formed of Chris Davids and Liam Ivory — mark their highly anticipated return with brand new single “Blackoak”, their first new music in over three years, released today on Ninja Tune.
“Blackoak” is a classic slice of signature Maribou State sound, blending intricate electronics with organic live instrumentation and vocals, built around the kind of enticing hooks that have earned them such a huge and dedicated fan base over the years. It acts not just as a reintroduction of Maribou State to the world but as a marker for where they are at both sonically and creatively, a statement of intent on what is surely to follow.
“Over the past few years we’d both begun to struggle with our sense of selves and how connected we felt to our roots in Britain,” they explain. “The world being in a state of flux seemed to amplify this feeling of disillusion but it led us to explore all the things we loved about where we’re from; the musicians, from artists like David Bowie and The Beatles, through to The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers, and also the likes of Burial, Aphex Twin and Sault; all the electronic genres born here, from Jungle to UK Garage and IDM; and Festivals, namely Glastonbury, the countryside & English summers.”
The release comes after an intense period of song-writing that saw them embark on several makeshift writing retreats, building their own DIY studios at various secluded locations throughout the UK, and inviting a cast of friends and collaborators along to help. “Blackoak” ended up being written almost entirely in one day during one of the early writing sessions, and was completed on a later trip with the help of their own amateur choir.
“We invited all our friends down and got them to sing the main hook, “do that for you”, in the stairwell of the house. The whole thing was fairly chaotic and turned into more of a party than anything productive whilst they were there, but all that energy ended up feeding back into the song and the vocals we recorded really made the ending come to life.”
The Blackoak in question actually refers to the area where the bulk of the track was written over the winter of 2021, surrounded by snow covered woodland — something which is close to the Hertfordshire-born pair’s hearts. As part of the physical release, the band have made a donation to the Woodland Trust, equivalent to £1 of every vinyl sold. “Having both been fortunate enough to grow up in an area surrounded by woodland, we’ve always had a strong connection and affinity with forests and now more than ever we fully support the Woodland Trust in their efforts of restoration and protection for these magnificent and vital areas”
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