Photo: Holly Whitaker

Squid animate our primal instincts and indecisive nature on the live wire “Paddling”

London upstarts Squid recently announced their debut album Bright Green Field and shared the brain-frying single “Narrator”. It still feels like ages until the early-May release of the album, but they’ve given us another taste of it with new single “Paddling”. They say:

“​Written from two different perspectives, ‘Paddling’ is a song about the dichotomy between simple pleasures and decadent consumerism. Recounting a familiar scene from The Wind in the Willows, the song reminds us that although we are humans, we are ultimately animals that are driven by both modern and primal instincts, leading to vanity and machismo around us in the everyday.​”

With those dichotomous ideas in mind, Squid have made a devilishly dynamic track in “Paddling” that elaborates on all the different perspectives they’re exploring. While The Wind in the Willows reference is evident in their mentions of digging holes like moles, “Paddling” has a paranoia that erases that origin and instead places us in a hyper-modern world of endless impulses. With Ollie Judge, Anton Pearson, and Louis Borlase all trading off vocals while the band remains razor-wire tight, they animate indecision with a shark-tooth grin, teasing “Where you going? I don’t want to go there” and “Thrash round, make it worse.” Unsurprisingly, the song builds to a frantic and frazzled crescendo, Judge begging “don’t push me in,” before it cuts to an ominous silence.

Listen to “Paddling” on streaming platforms or watch the visualizer below.

Squid’s debut album Bright Green Field comes out on May 7 through Warp (pre-order/save). You can find the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.