For Fans Of: Cave In / Nothing / Deftones

Blackpool based quartet Blanket are set to release their 2nd full-length album Modern Escapism on (September 10th) via Music for Nations.

Modern Escapism takes the post-rock blueprint of the band’s 2018 debut full-length How To Let Go and infuses it with reverberating waves of shoegaze eclecticism and sudden outbursts of savage metal. The widescreen, cinematic expanse of Blanket’s sound still remains however, and rather than neuter their grand ambitions, these additional elements have simply expanded their sonic pallet without compromising the grandiose vision that gives Blanket their identity.

Modern Escapism’s narrative of vicarious modern living is one that we can all relate to. Our increased exposure to modern technology has created a void in our lives, one that we try to fill with online social interactions and voyeuristically peering into the lives of others. But all this time staring at a small screen in the pursuit of instant gratification can be a distraction from us living our lives to their fullest potential. Modern Escapism and its accompanying visual stimuli (inspired in part by films as diverse as Requiem for a Dream, Fight Club and The Truman Show) explore this idea of shallow interactions and control through social media that can ultimately lead to a sense of disconnection and lack of validity.

Guitarist Simon Morgan elaborates on the album’s theme. “It’s about the obsession that we have with other people’s lives and how that’s pushed down our throats through social media. People document every single facet of their lives and put it up on display in exchange for little dopamine hits when someone ‘likes’ something or comments on a post. Everyone’s living such a public life and everyone can see what everyone else is doing all the time … it’s a strange time we live in.”

Blanket spent three weeks in the studio recording Modern Escapism (as opposed to the rushed 10 day session on How To Let Go) with seminal producer Lewis Johns at the helm. The extra time spent shows in the lush instrumentation and sprawling euphoric beats that Blanket manage to hit throughout. Thematically, the album may scrutinize the drudgery of modern living, but the music plays paradoxically to that theme with its radiant peaks and euphoric highs.

The band underwent a fairly arduous process to get to the album that you now hear however, throwing out 15 – 16 songs that were initially primed as the follow-up to How To Let Go. Vocalist / Guitarist Bobby Pook explains “It was far less realised than this iteration of the album. There were some songs that were clearly inspired by Bon Iver or Bright Eyes and then there were some songs that had a clear through-line to Circa Survive or Balance and Composure or Citizen … stuff like that. It felt like a bunch of songs rather than a coherent album; maybe within those 15 songs there were 3 coherent Eps but not an album.”

After careful consideration, this iteration of the album was shelved for the more organic compositions Blanket composed with relative ease over lockdown. A different vision started to materialise, one that took the ethereal fluidity of Slowdive, the vicious down-tuned riffs of Deftones and the epic euphoria of Mogwai and coalesced them together into something far more cohesive. “The version that you hear now came together pretty quickly” says Bobby. “It felt much easier and more natural than the first.”

Blanket toured extensively in support of How To Let Go, supporting the likes of Zeal & Ardor, Polyphia, Cellar Darling and Tides of Man and played festival sets at the likes of Bluedot, ArcTanGent, Supersonic, Lytham and Desert Fest.

Modern Escapism marks the point where Blanket carve out their own identity; somehow pushing themselves beyond the sonic tapestries explored on their debut has enabled Blanket to highlight their own idiosyncrasies. As vocalist / guitarist Bobby Pook puts it, “We don’t really fit in with the post-rock people, we don’t really fit in with the math rock people, we don’t really fit in with the metal crowd but I like that. If we don’t fit into any of those cliques, then we’ve found our own thing. This album that we have now has found its own voice.’

Blanket is:
Bobby Pook (Vocals / Guitar)
Simon Morgan (Guitar / Vocals)
Matthew Sheldon (Bass)
Aiden Baldwin (Drums)