For Liars’ Tenth Studio Album, Angus Andrew Chose to Expand and Embrace Collaboration – the Resulting ‘The Apple Drop’ is Distinct and Recognisable, yet Fresh and Singular
Released 20 years on from Liars’ debut album, The Apple Drop follows 2017’s TFCF and 2018’s Titles with the Word Fountain, both distinctly solo affairs. However, for their tenth studio album, Angus Andrew chose to expand and embrace collaboration. “My goal was to create beyond my abilities – something bigger than myself.” The Apple Drop sees Angus working with avant-garde jazz drummer Laurence Pike, multi-instrumentalist Cameron Deyell and lyricist Mary Pearson Andrew. “They are incredible musicians,” enthuses Angus. “I was salivating at what I could get these guys to put on tape and grab from them so I could run away and figure it out.”
This mixing of raw, organic live instrumentation in the studio, along with Angus’s solo tinkering at the computer, results in an album that blurs boundaries between the archetypal band structure and experimental electronics. The Apple Drop is available now on limited edition recycled coloured vinyl, CD, and digitally.
On the eve of album release day, Liars shared a live concert film capturing a performance at a secret show in Sydney. Liars: Live at Phoenix was directed by Clemens Habicht who recently created a trilogy of films for The Apple Drop (‘Sekwar’, ‘Big Appetite’, and ‘From What the Never Was’). Shot in the futuristic wood and concrete surrounds of Phoenix Central Park – a performance space and gallery in Sydney, Australia – this live film sees Angus Andrew, Laurence Pike, and Cameron Deyell perform ‘Murdrum’ (from Titles with the Word Fountain), as well as ‘Sekwar’ and ‘Big Appetite’ (from The Apple Drop).
Angus explains, “Given the state of the world, this performance was uniquely exhilarating. We heightened that intensity by asking the audience to wear white and stand in the round like some cultish galactic council. It created an atmosphere unlike any other Liars show and made me feel uncharacteristically energised by human proximity.”
“It felt essential for the work to be performed in the nest at Phoenix Central Park. The hyper-modern architecture intensified the drama and framed the whole evening in a spectacular sci-fi universe. I can’t express enough thanks and gratitude to Phoenix Central Park for the opportunity to debut The Apple Drop in such an awe-inspiring space.”
The latest single from the album, and the last in Clemens Habicht’s trilogy of films, ‘From What the Never Was’ was also set in and commissioned by Phoenix Central Park. This interstellar horror prequel covers the time leading up to ‘Sekwar’ and ‘Big Appetite’ and in it, we find Angus Andrew, Laurence Pike, and Cameron Deyell traversing deep space when the mission goes terribly wrong.
In preparation for this video, Angus returned to the same cave that appears in the video for ‘Sekwar’. Instructed by a digital artist in NYC (Dan Moore), he strapped a 360-degree camera to his head and paced the lengths of the cave’s interior. The resulting data was transformed into a wireframe model and featured as a hologram. The cave’s positioning right beneath another location manifests the premise of the song – as Angus elaborates, “You’re in the “same spot” but understanding it from a completely new perspective. My experience in revisiting that space alone was both psychologically informative and disturbing. The slow, methodical steps required to document the dark depths of the cave’s interior invited the company of bats and of fear.”
For Angus Andrew, The Apple Drop comes from a personal place of realignment and reconfiguration. “Throughout Liars’ history I have consistently tried to develop new methods of creating music,” Angus says. “On each project, I’ve essentially abandoned previous methods and attempted to instead learn different ways of writing and producing songs. Where once I perceived this journey as a straight line, I’m increasingly realising my trajectory is more akin to a spiral. As new ideas are generated, older ones take on new meaning and evolve further.”
There are not many bands that could make looking to the past feel futuristic, but on The Apple Drop, Liars have managed to create an entirely new world – sonically, thematically, and lyrically – by doing just that.
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