Cult experimental band PVT premiere their stunning fourth new album, Homosapien, in an exclusive full stream on Dazed Digital. Coming three years after 'Church With No Magic', having pivoted from one band name to the next, the Australian outfit have re-arrived with an 11-track record that invokes from the shadows dark electro beats, but whose rhythmic ensemble is, instead, intended to inspire optimism.
As it retains a monophonic tone through its beats, it almost promises certainty through its listening. But in opposition to its name Homosapien, the record is daubed with unearthy-like tones that flit from one sphere to the next, layered with an in-flux of jittery, oscillating vocals from Richard Pike, the possibility of knowing what to expect is taken away again, making for interesting and thought-provoking listening.
Dazed Digital: The titles for your previous albums and track titles for your new record Homosapien are pretty dark. Is that just something you're naturally drawn to?
PVT: Hmm, that's interesting 'cause I don't see Homosapien that way. For me it's a very positive record. It was a positive experience to make and although the songs do contain sadness, it's mainly hope. The title track, the lyric is 'you're the same as me - homosapien'. I think that's a positive message; we're all human, we're all cut from the same cloth. Having said that, yes, our last record was dark - deliberately dark. This one is more... spiritual, I guess. Maybe I am drawn to noir-ish things. But it's always about balance. You need dark to appreciate light, right?
DD: Where did the inspiration for the album first come from / what is it based on?
PVT: The first lyric I wrote was for Evolution, track two on the record. It's about your own personal evolution - 'you can never know the evolution of a heart'. Only you, personally, can know your own history, and how your heart makes its choices. Also, a big inspiration was a documentary I saw by English filmmaker Adam Curtis. He has an amazing style when looking at history. Everything has a butterfly effect, everything is connected. That was the start of the idea. I hope not to sound really nerdy, but there's a famous philosophy book called Mille Plateaux (A Thousand Plateaus). I haven't read all of it, it's far too complicated, but it's a world view about the interconnectedness of everything; all philosophies. I then saw the words Homo Sapiens on a poster for a museum, on a trip to Italy of all places. The cradle of civilization. It seemed like the perfect title, to put it into one word Homosapien, seemed to make it more descriptive.
DD: Billed as your most 'accessible' album to date, was this a conscious decision in the production process?
PVT: Good question. It's never a conscious decision to make something 'accessible'. It's a dangerous trap to use words like that when creating. You don't want to spook the muse. But we wanted the album to sound more human, warmer, and definitely calmer. More open than before, not so anxious and twisted and dense. That was conscious. Whether it's accessible or not is really not up to me.
DD: What's next?
PVT: I'm sure we'll do some touring with the record, Europe/UK in April-May. We've already played in the new songs last year, doing some tours with Bloc Party and Gotye - so they're ready to take on the road. Also, I've already started work on new songs. I think the next one will be very different again.
Follow Lydia Hughes on Twitter here: @nudemole