Anathema release Internal Landscapes 2008 – 2018
A 13-track journey through the best of Anathema’s Kscope years, featuring “Thin Air”, “Untouchable”, “Dreaming Light” & “Springfield”
“The band isn’t just a way of life, its been much more than that. To us, as a family, writing music of such honesty, and reaching people who feel it similarly, is as profound an expression of art and life as its possible to be. People have said to me it must be cathartic to write songs like this. I often say the real gift is in the people I do it with. For what we share and what we mean to each other when all is said and done.. The landscapes are internal”
Internal Landscapes showcases the highly influential Liverpool sextet’s uncompromising dedication to fearless artistry. They’ve continually evolved since 1990 by placing hope in the future – from leaving the underground scene they were fundamental in establishing to continually mesmerising the world with dramatic post-progressive alternative rock that knows no borders.
The release of Internal Landscapes follows an extensive worldwide headline tour, including performances at Download Festival, ArcTanGent and Wembley Arena with Opeth in support of their 2017 studio album The Optimist. The release won the Album of the Year at the Progressive Music Awards ’17, reached the top 10 in the Polish charts, top 20 in Germany, top 40 in the UK, and has 5.8 million track streams on Spotify. This built on the success of their previous Kscope material, which also won at the Progressive Music Awards, including Album of the Year, Live Event of the Year & Multimedia Package of the Year for 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here, 2012’s Weather Systems and 2013’s Universal.
Daniel Cavanagh has provided the album sleeve notes and the artwork was created by long-time collaborator Travis Smith.
This collection, curated by the band, selects the best works from their prolific output on the ground-breaking label Kscope since 2008. In this time the band left their heavier roots and transcended into emotional heaviness that resonated deep within the heart of the listener. It takes its name from the band’s perhaps most heartfelt song, from their most popular album of the period, Weather Systems.
Anathema release new album The Optimist with two videos for “Can’t Let Go” and “Springfield”
noun: optimist; plural noun: optimists
a person who tends to be hopeful and confident about the future or the success of something.
a person who believes that this world is the best of all possible worlds or that good must ultimately prevail over evil
After Anathema’s 2012 award-winning album Weather Systems and 2014’s spellbinding Distant Satellites, the ambient rockers are back with their eleventh full-length, The Optimist. Out now on Kscope, The Optimist reveals some of the darkest, most challenging and unexpected music the sextet have put their name to.
The song “Can’t Let Go”, written by John Douglas, further explores the journey of the character of The Optimist first introduced through their album A Fine Day To Exit. Daniel explains: “The optimist is always held back from reaching a full potential by the weight of the past, a weight that lies heavy on the heart and upon the mind. Unable to cut the strings, the optimist flounders unless the past can be released and a new person is born. This is not an easy thing to do, even for the optimist inside all of us. Not an easy thing to do at all”
Vincent Cavanagh, who has worked closely with US based director Omeed Izadyar on the video imagery for The Optimist explains how the clip expands our protagonist’s story “This video is a scene in The Optimist’s story; his vain attempt to outrun his imminent collapse, haunted by the ghosts of his past. It was shot as an immersive experience in 360 degrees by our friend Omeed Izadyar. The location follows the story northwards from 32.63n 117.14w through Los Angeles, San Francisco and into Oregon.” Watch the new video for “Can’t Let Go” above.
Anathema, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and drummer/keyboardist Daniel Cardoso began recording The Optimist in the winter of 2016 at Attica Audio in Donegal, Ireland and then finished at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan [Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals] at the helm. Vincent elaborates on Doogan’s influence on the recording process “he suggested that we record as a live band, which we hadn’t done for years. Having played a few tunes on the last tour, we were ready for that. Tony wanted to capture that energy you can only get with everyone facing each other… it makes a big difference. He was a superb guy to work with and I learned a lot making this record”
The idea for The Optimist was born from the front cover artwork of the band’s 2001 album A Fine Day To Exit Daniel Cavanagh explains “I suppose you might say the album is semi-autobiographical because this time we used a surrogate,” he says, of the character that is The Optimist “We put sound, feelings and crucially, our own hopes and fears into another person and made him the subject of the songs then weaving my own internal monologue into the narrative of The Optimist. It was John’s idea to write a narrative, so I took A Fine Day To Exit as the starting point”. Vincent elaborates further on the earlier album’s artwork influence “The guy who disappeared – you never knew what happened to him, did he start a new life? Did he succumb to his fate? It was never explained. The opening track title is the exact coordinates for Silver Strand beach in San Diego – the last known location of The Optimist – shown on the cover of A Fine Day to Exit.
To continue the theme further, the band brought back designer and illustrator Travis Smith to create the artwork for The Optimist. The artwork was created from a series of photographs Smith took on a West Coast road trip.
With the character’s unresolved destiny the three song writing members, meticulously brought the unfinished story to an end – and most strikingly of all – one which is decided by the listener.