London art rocker Alexander Shields (aka A Grave With No Name) is set to release his latest record, Whirlpool, on July 16th via Stare/Lefse Records. Having recorded the majority of his previous albums alone in his bedroom studio, a.k.a. “The Church,” Shields took a different approach for Whirlpool, entering a professional studio with a 12-person band/support system. Working with bassist Tom King and guitarist Anupa Madawela, as well as Echo Lake‘s Linda Jarvis, Akiko Matsuura of Comanechi, and singer Alanna McArdle, his latest collection of songs is intended as the opening arc of a trilogy which includes 2009’s Mountain Debris and 2011’s Lower.
For an idea of the story waiting to unfold, Shields has released a new single, “The Steps”. Mining the same fractured dream-pop vein of Cocteau Twins or Slowdive, Shields turns the elastic rhythms and subtle electronic flourishes into a game of musical hide and seek, with the shimmering synth incessantly fluttering about as if it were alive and breathing. The accompanying music video, directed by Melanie Coles, pairs that frenetic energy with soft focus fades and saturated colors. Old photographs, random film clips, and shadows of the band playing are blurred together into a half-remembered collection of dreams and memories. Watch the nostalgia-tinged video below.