Philadelphia-based indie rock band NOTHING announced Sept. 11 that its fourth full-length album The Great Dismal will be released Oct. 30. The album, which was recorded during quarantine with producer Will Yip at Studio 4 Recording in Conshohocken, Pa., explores existentialist themes of isolation, extinction and human behavior.
The album arrives just before NOTHING’s 10 year anniversary and is the first released by the band since its 2018 Dance on the Blacktop. That album centered on themes affecting frontman Domenic Palermo’s life, including pain induced by an assault following a 2015 show in Oakland, California, from which he suffered permanent brain damage. He was diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease.
The album also discussed the Kensington/Frankford section of North Philadelphia during the early 1990s, amid an opioid outbreak. Dance on the Blacktop was the second album NOTHING released on Relapse Records after switching from the Collect record label. The band dropped Collect after discovering it was partially funded by “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, who infamously inflated the price of the HIV drug Daraprim.
NOTHING also performed at the annual Psycho Las Vegas festival in 2019 at the House of Blues stage, playing a set that was equal parts cathartic power and dreamy drones and feedback.
The band released the first single off the new album, “Say Less,” on Sept. 11 along with a music video directed by Jordan Hemingway of The Academy Films.
“Say Less” features a drone of heavy guitar and pointed drums with soft vocals from Palermo over top.
“The Great Dismal refers to a swamp, a brilliant natural trap where survival is custom fit to its inhabitants,” Palermo said in a news release. “The nature of its beautiful, but taxing environment and harsh conditions can’t ever really be shaken or forgotten too easily.”
The album features appearances from harpist Mary Lattimore, classical musician Shelley Weiss and singer/songwriter/producer Alex G.
1. A Fabricated Life
2. Say Less
3. April Ha Ha
4. Catch a Fade
5. Famine Asylum
6. Bernie Sanders
7. In Blueberry
9. Blue Mecca
10. Just a Story
11. Ask The Rust
Featured Image: Raymond Flotat