Wire were all set to drop their 18th studio album 10:20 on Record Store Day. But with that particular holiday delayed and practicing social distancing, the post-punk rockers have now announced that 10:20 will instead be available on all platforms on June 19th. To tide fans over until then, Wire has shared the nearly new song “The Art of Persistence”.
Like most of the “strays” being collected on 10:20, “The Art of Persistence” has been around in one form or another for a number of years. It first popped up when the band reconvened in 2000, and made appearances on The Third Day EP (labelled as a “First Draft”) and then as a live performance on Recycling Sherwood Forest as part of Wire’s Legal Bootleg series.
Musically, “The Art of Persistence” is a throwback to Wire’s late ’70s sound. It’s too smooth and danceable to be characterized as punk, and you might say that it anticipated New Wave if it wasn’t being released 40 years after that Wave had crested. The lyrics ripple with anxiety and violence. “Persistent survival/ Test of the wills/ Prepare for the final/ Perfect rival to kill.”
The accompanying visuals are more of a collage than music video. It features photographs from a January 2020 performance at Manchester’s Band on the Wall, with images arranged to achieve a jerky flip-book effect. Check out Wire’s studio version of “The Art of Persistence” below.
In January, Wire released their 17th studio album Mind Hive.