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Anathema reveal details for new album ‘The Optimist’

Written by John Deaux

ANATHEMA REVEAL DETAILS & COVER ARTWORK FOR NEW STUDIO ALBUM THE OPTIMIST / DUE OUT ON KSCOPE ON 9TH JUNE 2017

optimist /ˈɒptɪmɪst/

noun: optimist; plural noun: optimists

  1. a person who tends to be hopeful and confident about the future or the success of something.
  2. 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. Due for release on 9th June through Kscope The Optimist will soon reveal some of the darkest, most challenging and unexpected music the sextet have put their name to. 

Anathema, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and 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.

32.63N 117.14W [01:18]

Leaving It Behind [04:27]

Endless Ways [05:49]

The Optimist [05:37]

San Francisco [04:59]

Springfield [05:49]

Ghosts [04:17]

Can`t Let Go [05:00]

Close Your Eyes [03:39]

Wildfires [05:40]

Back To The Start [11:41]

Anathema will be revealing more information on The Optimist very soon, album formats and further touring details

ANATHEMA LIVE

Summer Festivals & shows

11/06/17 – UK, Donington Download Festival (https://downloadfestival.co.uk ) 

16/06 – BE Dessel , Graspop Metal Meeting (https://www.graspop.be )

23/06 – NL, Nijmegen – Doornroosje

24/06 – NL, Valkenburg – Midsummer Prog Festival (www.midsummerprog.com )

01/07 – SP, Barcelona – Be Prog My Friend Festival (http://www.beprogmyfriend.com )

01-02/07/17 – GR, Athens – Rock Wave Festival (http://www.rockwavefestival.gr_)

The Optimist tour 

08/06/17 – Russia – Moscow – Yotaspace

09/06/17 – Russia – St. Petersburg – ClubZal

03/08/17 – Mexico – Monterrey – Café Iguana

04/08/17 – Mexico – Guadalajara – C3 Stage

05/08/17 – Mexico – Mexico City – El Plaza Condesa

07/07/17 – Columbia – Bogota – Teatro Ecci

09/07/17 – Chile – Santiago – Teatro Cariola

11/08/17 – Argentina – Buenos Aires – Groove

12/08/17 – Brazil – Sao Paolo – Carioca Cluba

23/09/17 – NI – Belfast – Limelight 2

24/09/17 – IRE – Dublin – Academy

Many more dates to be announced soon

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About the author

John Deaux

Some say Yank My Doodle, It’s A Dandy! is a biographical movie based on John

Some have even said that his favourite artist is Chesney Hawke

All we know is he is the ultimate bargain hunter & his skin, a hazy shade of winter