Photo: Robert Watson

Gilla Band unleash the searing and surreal “Backwash”

Irish post-punk experimentalists Gilla Band recently shared “Eight Fivers”, the first taste of their upcoming album Most Normal, and today we get a second dose of what’s to come with “Backwash”. Singer Dara Kiely reveals:

The initial idea for the whole album was that it would loosely sound like a dream. We didn’t really stick to the brief but it lead us down different sonic avenues. ‘Backwash’ is one of the few tracks where the words represent a dream-like circumstance. The lyrics are from a stream of consciousness rant, weird imagery and all that. The track is about attraction – fancying someone and not knowing what to say exactly. It’s an indirect love song, knowing you like someone but can’t quite articulate it. Thinking that you have already expressed your feelings, but like waking up from a dream you’ve forgotten what you actually have said or felt.” 

Long-time fans of Gilla Band (fka Girl Band) will know that Kiely’s lyricism is always filled with strangeness and divergent thoughts, a bit like the writing of his fellow countryman James Joyce, but “Backwash” delivers surreal imagery in droves. We have “a hustle to be a jack russell” and “he went to the sink and poured vaseline on a trout” as a mere sampling of the imagery flying around the track, and things get more twisted as we delve deeper into the protagonist’s anxieties about his attraction. This is all supported by the instrumentation and production, with Gilla Band building “Backwash” from a restrained but frenetic track into an battering ram of sound by gradually inserting serrated blasts of fuzzy feedback and demented electronics that sound like the whole world around has been put on drunken rewind. Simply put, it’s great.

Check out the video for “Backwash” below or find it on streaming platforms.

Gilla Band’s new album Most Normal arrives on October 7 through Rough Trade (pre-order/save). You can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.