BIG SPECIAL share new single, ‘BLACK DOG / WHITE HORSE’ from forthcoming debut album

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BIG SPECIAL share their latest single from their forthcoming debut album POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES, set for release on May 10th via SO Recordings, arriving in the form of ‘BLACK DOG / WHITE HORSE’. This single is the band’s first official release since the unveiling of ‘DUST OFF / START AGAIN’, which remains in rotation on BBC 6 Music. 

‘BLACKDOG/ WHITE HORSE, finds the band at their most reflective, as lead vocalist Joe Hicklin takes the listener on a journey of self-discovery, from fear to redemption. Speaking of the track, he states:

BLACK DOG / WHITE HORSE is about fear, about rumination, intrusive thoughts and cycles of depression. It’s about trying to figure out how to reach out when feelings of guilt and shame take hold. It’s about recognising these things in others, noticing the lost and undervalued, and their increasing numbers. It comes from a thing I wrote years ago, about a burning snake travelling in the hot sun and a small wren flying high above it to block the heat and give it shade, taking the burden of the sun, because the little bird loves the snake and won’t see it defeated, for whatever reason.

Continuing, of the album, he explains:

POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES is an album about depression. It’s about the different shapes it takes; personal, social, generational… and it’s about coming face to face with those ghosts and what we do or how we feel when that happens.The album offers no answers, it is just an honest expression of a working-class experience in modern England through the eyes of ill mental health, a pursuit of art and political disenchantment; a story of rumination, realisation and reaction. POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES is about learning that we are connected by our common struggles and though dark and rageful, the album holds a quiet sentiment of love and hope. It’s about laughing at the face of the void, recognising its oppressive weight, holding hands and moving forward.

BIG SPECIAL’s mammoth UK and Europe tour begins this week. Dates can be found below, tickets are available here*.

POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES is available for pre-order on limited edition vinyl here*.

Listen on Apple Music

Debut album out May 10th

The second single to be taken from their upcoming debut album, POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES (out May 10th via SO Recordings), Black Country duo Big Special have shared ‘BUTCHER’S BIN’. The single follows hot on the heels of the album’s debut single, ‘DUST OFF / START AGAIN’, which currently is on the BBC Radio6 playlist. 

The track focuses on shedding light on the difficulties faced by working-class artists when trying to make a name for themselves, delving into the challenges that these artists face, from lack of financial resources to limited access opportunities, and the impact these factors have on their ability to showcase their talents. 

Of the track, lead vocalist Joe Hicklin states:

BUTCHER’S BIN is about class awareness and the realisation that the working classes are used as nothing but a commodity and set against each other at every turn, their existence trivialised and struggles denied; the offcuts tossed to feed the rabid hounds of neoliberalism. The song is about all of this from the perspective of declining mental health whilst trying to make a living as an artist and to break through in a time and place where an art life is seen as a luxury granted to those of a higher social class or a fruitless pursuit for idealistic fools.

POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES is an album that seeks to offer no answers, arriving as an honest expression of the working-class experience in modern England. BIG SPECIAL are set to head out on a huge UK and Ireland tour, starting in May, in support of the album. Alongside the tour, the band are set to support Placebo across South America this month.

The track follows on from the album’s lead single – ‘Dust Off / Start Again’, their first new material of 2024. 

Arriving on the heels of a sold-out winter UK headline tour, ‘DUST OFF / START AGAIN’ is a powerful track, exploring the impact of failed government policies on a generation losing their sense of ownership. It encourages the idea of starting over after a setback, whilst challenging the notion of life as a never-ending cycle of building oneself up and then being knocked back down again. 

Of the single, lead vocalist Joe Hicklin states:

‘DUST OFF / START AGAIN’ is a bolt of cursed vomit, spewed into a stewpot of English class issues regarding housing, ownership, mental illness, appropriation and human rights. It’s about the disregard for the common man. And how it is expected of anyone, regardless of their situation, to carry on, struggle through and go to work.

He continues, ‘It’s about how the privileged and powerful attempt to define, debate and justify the social positions of all whilst the ideals of our governing systems are pressed upon the working-class youth, so that they quietly accept their role as a commodity and place blame on each other, as they wave the flag that keeps them down.”

Post Industrial Hometown Blues is an album set out to offer no answers but is an open, honest expression of being working-class in modern-day England. 

In support of the album, Big Special are set to head out on a huge UK and Europe tour this spring, including performances at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, and Reading & Leeds Festivals this Summer. 

Listen on Apple Music

Katie Macbeth

katie macbeth

Katie Macbeth is a freelance music journalist for Indie Is Not A Genre based out of Manchester, presenter of @drunktankthink, and post punk enthusiast.

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