Few debut records were as thrilling as Shame‘s Songs of Praise in 2018, and today, the outfit has shared news of their much-anticipated return, celebrated by a brisk jolt of energy, their new single titled “Alphabet”.
With disgusting guitars and an urgent drumbeat coursing through the track’s veins, we see Shame’s frontman Charlie Steen shed his evocatively low vocal register, ala Iceage’s Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, for something more immediate, and less of a low-rolling hum. Fiercely, Steen opens up the track, shouting, “Now what you see is what you get!” With Shame rushing out the gates with plainspoken jadedness, the band’s latest is cut from the same cloth of lyrical simplicity and vigorous energy as IDLES, in which the latter have used as a blueprint to their growing success. Even with the similarities, “Alphabet” is still unashamedly Shame, as they stamp their sardonic demeanor over each second of this striking post-punk gem.
On the song’s meaning, Steen explains:
“Alphabet is a direct question, to the audience and the performer, on whether any of this will ever be enough to reach satisfaction. At the time of writing it, I was experiencing a series of surreal dreams where a manic subconscious was bleeding out of me and seeping into the lyrics. All the unsettling and distressing imagery I faced in my sleep have taken on their own form in the video.”