They could hear me scream for miles. The silence ringing for days. The silence ringing for days. The Wind that turn the trees. Made me sway, made me sway, made me sway.
Idles, Joe Talbot
After years of making high-energy political anthems such as Danny Nedelko and Never Fight A Man With A Perm (great name, by the way), it was only natural for Idles to venture in a different direction and create a slow burner such as “The Beachland Ballroom.” Trying to emulate a vulnerable soul tune while also being organic, the band achieves its goal with flying colors. The single is hauntingly beautiful due to the hybrid of powerful singing and screaming by Joe Talbot. The lyrics may be mysterious to the listener, yet to Joe, he truly means what he preaches in “Ballroom.”
It’s the most important song on the album, really. There’s so many bands that go through the small rooms and dream of making it into the big rooms… The song is an allegory of feeling lost and getting through it. It’s one that I really love singing.
Even if you don’t like Talbot’s voice, you cannot doubt his vocals for a moment, with the singer truly belting every last inch of himself into the track. Full of wet reverb, the music sounds like an oxymoron: sonically compacted yet also spacious and minimal. This strategy works well to convey a melancholy feel and offer more awareness to each instrument.
Nevertheless, it is the bass and piano that are a standout out in the mix. Making a grand entrance at the beginning, the two instruments slowly yet, powerfully thud throughout the track. Other compliments can go to both Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan’s guitar work. The U2-Esque guitar scratching excellently provides feedback that brings more ambiance to the song, while Kiernan’s contained strumming offers grit to the single. Presumably, a love letter to up-and-coming bands, the track will surely inspire many for years to come.