Breton recently released their much anticipated second album ‘War Room Stories’ on Cut Tooth/Believe Recordings on 10th February 2014. They are playing 3 UK dates this week, read on for more information.
The album was written during a year spent touring incessantly and playing festivals across the world. It was recorded this summer at the Funkhaus in Berlin – a building with the same otherworldly weirdness as Breton’s beloved creative HQ, The Lab, which was demolished last summer to make way for luxury flats.
Located in the highly industrial, distinctly un-hipster Mitte district of the city, Funkhaus Studios used to house 3,000 communist workers who would write and broadcast propaganda in the form of news and drama to the entire Eastern Bloc and is fitted with all the trappings of the former sound effects studio – a fact that proved perfect for Breton’s innate inquisitiveness.
The final seconds of album closer ’15 Minutes’ are sampled sounds from a particularly overgrown part of the building home to various insects and wildlife. Numerous other subtleties throughout the record’s ten tracks, meanwhile, are taken from the specially created effects from the building’s myriad of resources.
Elsewhere, Breton’s own genre-splicing tendencies take root in increasingly more skilled and nuanced ways. Opener ‘Envy’ is perhaps the group’s most outright ‘pop’ track to date, whereas first single ‘Got Well Soon’ fuses glitchy synths with an undulating backbone beat and ‘Brother’s echo-laden pianos are at once epic and understatedly restrained. Traces of hip hop, electronica, indie and all the plethora of genres in between interplay under tracks that are, at face value, still surprisingly accessible.
Breton also employed the services of the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra who appear on five tracks throughout the album. The band recorded the tracks earmarked for orchestration on a laptop, translated them into sheet music and flew to Macedonia where the 44 piece orchestra then played them live in the studio. The stunning results can be heard on ‘Envy’, ‘Closed Category’, ‘Legs and Arms’, ‘S Four’ and ‘War Room Stories’.
Constantly challenging and pushing against the boundaries of what it means to be in a band in 2013, ‘War Room Stories’ is the second chapter of a group who aren’t afraid to stick their neck on the line and think about things a little differently.
Breton will play the following UK dates:
March 3rd - Bristol, Louisiana
March 4th - Manchester, Soup Kitchen
March 5th - London, Village Underground