Taut and dynamic, “Keel Timing” is the second single from MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA’s new album The Million Masks of God. Out today and underscored by a bedrock mix of organic and electronic beats, the song simmers to a roaring, high-octane conclusion before seamlessly shifting into the sweeping first single, “Bed Head,” on the album’s sequence. “‘Keel Timing’ serves as a prequel to ‘Bed Head,” explains singer Andy Hull, who also further detailed the song’s ‘Origins’ this morning to Consequence of Sound. “It’s an isolated internal investigation about personal growth. Trying to decide what growth is positive and what growth is negative. And where do we land after that investigation.”
“Keel Timing” follows lead single “Bed Head,” which, with only one week since impacting at US radio, currently sits in the Top 20 of both the BDS and Mediabase Triple A charts (#1 and #4 most-increased this week, respectively) and at #4 on SiriusXM Alt Nation’s ‘Alt 18 Countdown.’ The Million Masks of God will be released on April 30th via Loma Vista Recordings and can now be pre-ordered—including in a new, limited-to-1,000-copies, band-autographed vinyl edition, available in either pink or light blue variants, and exclusive to the band’s hometown Atlanta, GA, indie record store stalwart Criminal Records. “Our band wouldn’t be where it is without Criminal Records. When we were getting started in 2006, Criminal was the only place in the world that you could actually buy our album in a store or order it and receive it in the mail,” says Hull. “Every week we would drive up to Criminal and drop off another couple of boxes of CDs, and sure enough Eric would sell them and request more. They have continued to shower us with love and support and we are forever grateful. Independent retail as a whole has always been an incredibly supportive partner for our band and I encourage you all to please support these stores, which still make tangible media an experience that’s far more impactful and memorable than clicking a button on your phone.”
Produced by MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA’s lead songwriting duo of Hull and Robert McDowell, Catherine Marks (PJ Harvey, The Killers) and Ethan Gruska (Phoebe Bridgers), The Million Masks Of God presents an even grander scale of the epic and re-focused approach to record-making that the Atlanta, GA-based band has forged in recent years. Their sixth album finds Hull, McDowell, Tim Very (drums), and Andy Prince (bass) relentlessly pushing themselves to create a work that breaks beyond the scope and limits of every previous release in an effort to create their most towering achievement to date, all while sorting through the aftermath of a devastating loss.
The Million Masks Of God can be seen, in a way, as the band’s sophomore album following a rebirth with Black Mile (which featured the band’s first #1 AAA and Top 15 Alternative radio hit “The Gold”), and Hull’s early concept for it was a natural extension of the main theme of its predecessor. “If Black Mile was this idea of ‘from birth to death,’ this album would really be more about ‘from birth to beyond, focusing on the highs and lows of life and exploring what could possibly come next,’” he explains.
MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA approached Masks with the intention of creating tightly-woven “movie albums” designed to be listened to in sequence and in a single sitting, with the songs working together to tell a bold, long-form narrative. The album explores the loose story of a man’s encounter with the angel of death as he’s shown various scenes from his life in a snapshot-style assemblage. Some moments he witnesses are good, some are bad, some difficult, some commendable—in other words, they depict an entirely normal life. Ultimately, The Million Masks of God is a compelling, heady, and profound look at the impact a person’s life has on others.
“There’s a decision we’re faced with when experiencing loss and the inevitable grief that follows. Do we let it sink us? Try to ignore it and pretend it’s not there? Or do we search and dig until we find signs of beauty in life and all of its experiences?” explains Hull. “In a way, the grief will always define you but being together and creating something meaningful from all of the hardships has been the most helpful tool I’ve found.”
Check out the Music Video for ‘Keel Timing’ below.