JOHN Share New Song 'Trauma Mosaic' (Mastered at Abbey Road)

JOHN Share New Song 'Trauma Mosaic' (Mastered at Abbey Road)

5th May 2023

South London-based two piece, JOHN, return with a brand new single

The cryptically-named duo JOHN - comprised of John Newton (drums, lead vocals) and Johnny Healey (guitar, backing vocals) - return with a brand new single Trauma Mosaic - available digitally right now via Brace Yourself and Pets Care Records,.

Trauma Mosaic follows on from the band's recent Theme New Bond Junior b/w Hopper on the Dial single which reached #1 on the UK vinyl singles chart last month as well as seeing Theme New Bond Junior playlisted at BBC 6Music and KEXP.

Recorded by Tom Hill at The Bookhouse in South London, mixed by Seth Manchester (METZ, Big Brave, Battles) and mastered by Frank Arkwright (Arab Strap, Squarepusher, Autechre), Trauma Mosaic continues the band's subtle evolution in recent years as they continue to redefine and expand the parameters of what a guitar and drums two-piece can be. Driven forward by a crushed drum sample that began as a playful experiment, it finds Newton layering his vocals in an almost chant-like manner before cyclical guitars erupt in classic JOHN fashion and we're reminded of the primal power the pair possess.

"We like to think the back catalogue really shows how the project has evolved and expanded over the many years/releases," says Newton.

"'Trauma Mosaic' feels like a real testament to the ongoing journey, proving that there’s plenty of exploration even within our inherent limitations as a duo. It’s actually become our strength - helping simplify the decision making process, whilst further defining what JOHN is - in a unique sense.”

The single comes accompanied by a video

Trauma Mosaic comes accompanied by a video directed by Newton, with the assistance of the band's long-time collaborator Paul Grace, that while initially matching the palpable tension of the track's opening moments comes to mirror its larger-than-life finale as a drone quite literally ascends into the atmosphere.

Of the video, Newton offers: "There’s a deliberate claustrophobic repetition to the earlier stages of the song/video, which mirrors the very human tendency to obsess in cycles of thought - it’s certainly something we both struggle with as individuals. If you take the title more literally: we all contain a patchwork of images sewn together from the past, and these memories are used as a map of survival within our present. These primal instincts seem overloaded nowadays, and we become open to be haunted by even the slightest reflection."

"Having shot the video in the confines of a domestic space, we decided that the expansive closing section of the song should also be honoured in the contrast of imagery. Luckily Paul had been experimenting with shooting from a drone, so we sent it up about 300 metres into the sky, thankfully avoiding the seagulls that are almost always overhead."

Watch the video below


On working with Frank

“Having completed the recording and mixing of the project with Tom Hill (The Bookhouse, South London, UK) and Seth Manchester (Machines With Magnets, Rhode Island, US) it became clear that we were looking for a mastering engineer who had a broad sonic palette and experience - knowing that our new material pushed and pulled dynamically.

We carefully discussed with mix engineer Seth Manchester about our options, and Frank appeared to be the perfect fit for the project - especially having loved his work with bands such as Arab Strap, Mogwai and Two Lone Swordsmen - not to mention hallowed ground of Joy Division!”
“We had a brief taste of Abbey Road whilst mastering a 7” single back in the early days in 2017, so it was a pleasure to be back in the walls, and Frank was an absolute dream to work with - understanding that we needed to retain the power of a live JOHN show, whilst not sacrificing the clarity that Tom and Seth had masterfully delivered.

It felt like a really easy process across the board, and our latest single ‘Trauma Mosaic’ is a shining testament to Frank’s attentive approach. It’s a song that requires a lot of definition and dynamic, shifting through different levels before its eventual energetic release. Choosing a mastering engineer can often be an overwhelming decision after previous stages of production, so we were both really pleased to feel that we had made the right decision for the right reasons”

The band will make their North American live debut this October

The release of Trauma Mosaic comes accompanied by the news that the duo will be making their North American live bow in October of this year, undertaking a near month-long run that takes them through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia, New York and many more in between.

Having developed a reputation as one of the most uncompromisingly powerful propositions on the UK live circuit over the past decade - and one with a fiercely devoted cult following - it marks a thoroughly well-deserved next step for one of the country's most beloved indie-rock institutions.

JOHN's last album proper was 2021's widely acclaimed Nocturnal Manoeuvres (released on Brace Yourself/Pets Care in October 2021 and landing in the top 75 of the UK albums chart). Singles taken from the record include Stadium of No (with a video made in collaboration with Young Knives), Non-Essential Hymn, Šibensko Powerhouse - which features a guest spot from IDLES' Adam Devonshire and came accompanied by an excellent video directed by Ryan Gander OBE featuring animatronic mice and cockroach costumes - and the titanic A Song For Those Who Speed In Built-Up Areas, the latter two of which both reached the A-list at BBC 6Music. Between them, the singles garnered praise at press from folks including The Guardian, NPR, DIY, Loud and Quiet, The New Cue, Upset Magazine and many more.

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