It was back in January when we last heard new music from Mandy, Indiana (when they were still known as Gary, Indiana), but today they come launching back with a vengeance. They’ve announced that their debut EP, ‘…’, will be coming out on November 19 (physical on December 10) through Fire Talk. It collects together previous singles “Nike of Samothrace” and “Alien 3”, some remixes, and today’s new offering “Bottle Episode”.
Speaking on the new track, “Bottle Episode”, vocalist Valentine Caulfield says: “I wanted to build up on the military style of the track, but in a very slow crescendo, and not in a very obvious way. The lyrics talk of men waiting, moving forward; war is never mentioned, yet it is obvious that the men are waiting for death. The song ends with the men almost dancing as the bullets hit them.”
Indeed, the militaristic drumming that underpins the track puts us immediately in mind of a battalion – but this is no drill, they are marooned in the middle of a hopeless battlefield. Caulfield’s whisper-rasping French words crawl over the scene, like the collective worries of the soldiers culminating in a single-minded determination to put fear aside and keep marching to almost certain death. Mandy, Indiana implement a pulse-quickening bassline and atmospheric guitars that sound like either air-raid sirens or bombs rapidly descending upon the soldiers’ heads. In combination, it’s more than enough to build up an image of a gruesome mass of bodies in your mind – and the fact that they’ve named it “Bottle Episode” just speaks to the cold and calculated way in which the band have built this harrowing scene. Chilling.