Teeming with melodic epiphanies and layered sounds, Squid’s second album O Monolith is a musical evocation of environment, domesticity and self-made folklore. Like its predecessor, 2021’s critically acclaimed, UK number 4 album Bright Green Field, it is dense and tricksy – but also more warm and characterful, with a meandering, questioning nature. This is unmistakably music made by friends, but it’s not exclusionary – they’re inviting you in to listen with them.
It was produced by Dan Carey, mixed by John McEntire of Tortoise and recorded at Real World Studios. There’s a running theme of the relation of people to the environment throughout. There are allusions to the world the band became so immersed in, environmental emergency, the role of domesticity, and the displacement you feel when you’re away for a long time.
Expansive, evocative and hugely varied, O Monolith retains Squid’s restless, enigmatic spirit, but it still holds surprises for those familiar with Bright Green Field. It’s a reflection of the outsized progression of a band always looking to the future. Like its namesake, O Monolith is vast and strange; alive with endless possible interpretations of its inner mysteries.
Blue vinyl. Gatefold cover