SAVAGES Adore Life
Savages began as something of an enigma. Staunch in their views and meticulous about their vision, they quickly positioned themselves as a serious band with a lot to say. During the recording of Adore Life, the band’s frontwoman, Jehnny Beth, stated that this album would be the solution to the problems documented on their debut LP, Silence Yourself. While Adore Life doesn’t quite provide those answers, the record’s greatness lies in its intense, ambitious exploration. Compared to its forebear, the warmer, looser sound of Adore Life is the work of a band that’s more relaxed, more comfortable in their skin. Still, it would be foolish to misconstrue this temperance for softness. Tracks like “Adore” and “Mechanics” are epic meditations that bubble and swell with quiet ferocity, showing resolute maturity and restraint, even in anger. They function as carefully placed periods of reflection for the listener amidst the album’s more kinetic cuts, like blistering album opener, “The Answer” and the dance-y, beat-driven “Evil” and “Surrender.” Mostly, the album’s exploration of love is meaningful, but vague tracks like “T.I.W.Y.G.” and “Slowing Down the World” sometimes fail to push the investigation as far as they should. Adore Life is a definite progression for Savages that manages to maintain the feral bark that made Silence Yourself so special. With this album, they’ve proven that they’re a band with substance, staying power and the ability to question everything — and that’s worth a lot. (Matador, matadorrecords.com)
HOW WAS THE RECORDING PROCESS DIFFERENT THIS TIME?
Beth: The first record, we wanted to record live and use the recording as a document of how we were at the time, For the second record, we wanted a different approach — why would you do something twice? We also put all our trust in our producer Johnny Hostile; we felt very comfortable working with him [and] there was a dynamic that was different from the first one.
THE SONG “ADORE” WAS INSPIRED BY THE ACTIVIST POETRY OF MINNIE BRUCE PRATT. DO YOU OFTEN DRAW INSPIRATION FROM OTHER ART FORMS?
Sometimes we don’t realize how much different arts are connected; the idea that poetry could influence painters for example. There’s a whole new field to plunge into and discover once you understood one. I always enjoy making connections between artists.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN LISTENERS QUESTION YOUR ORIGINALITY, AND ASSIGN YOU TO MOVEMENTS LIKE POST-PUNK REVIVAL?
You can refer to the past and by inspired by the past, as much as the present and the future, there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. I don’t believe that you start a band because you want to play like Wire or the Cure. You start a band because you have something to say. BEN CARNEY