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Crime & the City Solution have announced details of a new album, the killer. Their sixth studio album, and their first in over a decade, is set for release via Mute on 20 October 2023.

 

Listen to the first track to be shared from the album, ‘Peace in my Time’, an elegiac crescendo that Simon Bonney explains, is “about acceptance, more than just ‘peace’,” before continuing: “I don’t think there’ll ever be ‘peace’ – nothing surprises me any more about what people to do to each other. But the song is about the acceptance of uncertainty, and also an acceptance of who you are.”. Video by Berlin based artist Elvira Akzigitova.

 

Watch the ‘Peace in my Time’ music video:

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The album began life as a PhD application that came to life when the band’s core members, Simon Bonney and Bronwyn Adams, found themselves stuck in their native Australia under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, their nomadic lifestyle put on pause by the pandemic. “Naturally”, says Simon, “I sat and I pieced together a PhD application about decision making in Afghanistan in the late 80s. But as it turned out, it was actually more of a record than it was a PhD.”

 

The PhD and, by turn, the album found inspiration from Bonney’s work delivering aid programmes across the Indo-Pacific region. Through that work, he visited places with high levels of violence and the album, in part, acted as a way in which to process the effect that turmoil has had on his psyche, of the “dead bodies in my dreams,” that he sings about in the title track. He explains, “There’s no mention of American decision making in Afghanistan on the album, but in terms of subject matter there’s a lot that’s pretty similar; a lot of the record is about loss of faith.”

 

Rather than a dramatic retelling – or even worse, a glorification – of the things that Simon has experienced, the killer focusses on the way they manifest in the everyday, and the way humans operate under their shadow. “There’s a veneer of normalcy and civilisation that people hold onto until they just can’t hold on anymore,” Simon says. “I’m interested in normalcy that exists within what we would consider to be extraordinary situations.”

 

Throughout the record Simon also weaves in recurring images of uncontrollable natural forces and a farmer who, rather than attempt in vain to control them, seeks to accept and work alongside them. “You can predict to some extent what nature is going to do, you can see the tornado coming, but you can’t predict which house it’s going to hit,” explains Simon.

Working briefly in post-invasion Ukraine following the album’s completion, he saw that uncertainty again: “There was a building that was absolutely destroyed by a missile that was half a mile off the actual target. The buildings on either side were perfectly intact, but in the middle was a crater. Yet, in the face of such uncertainty, there was this incredible resilience that seemed to be born of accepting life as it was at that moment, no matter how challenging and uncertain.”

 

“Records, in my experience, seek to answer a question,” Bonney continues. “But they usually end up posing new ones too.” What questions, then, Crime & the City Solution’s the killer seek to answer? And what new unknowables does it summon?  As with all great art, the fine details are the listeners to bestow, but what emerges most of all is the vitality of stillness. Whether faced with the uncaring sublimity of nature, the tempestuous brilliance of a partner, or the everyday impact of human-made horrors, it is better to be a tree – accepting uncertainty – than a king. “Trauma isn’t like a rapier scar, it’s a festering sore that you’ve just got to let heal. Art can help with that”, Simon says.

 

the killer was recorded in Berlin by the second incarnation of the band to be based in the German capital. Core members Simon Bonney and Bronwyn Adams were joined by Frederic Lyenn (Piano, Bass, Synth), Donald Baldie (Guitar), Georgio Valentino (Synth, Guitar), Chris Hughes (Drums, Percussion) and Joshua Murphy (Piano, Guitar), and for the first time they worked with a producer, the legendary Martin J. Fiedler, who also added Synth and Mellotron to the album.

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