King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard dives headfirst into electronic music like never before on its upcoming 25th album The Silver Cord, the first three songs from which are out this morning (Oct. 3). “Theia,” the title track, and “Set” introduce a synth-dominated sound as far removed as possible from the summer prog/metal companion album PetroDragonic Apocalypse, with nods to techno forefathers such as Kraftwerk and Underworld powering this surprising change of pace.
As previously reported, The Silver Cord will be available in both standard and “extended” versions, the latter of which finds Gizzard’s six members dramatically stretching out the source material like veteran remixers. “The first version’s really condensed, trimming all the fat,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “And on the second version, that first song, ‘Theia,’ is 20 minutes long. It’s the ‘everything’ version – those seven songs you’ve already heard on the first version, but with a whole lot of other shit we record while making it. It’s for the Gizz-heads. I love Donna Summer’s records with Giorgio Moroder, and I’d never listen to the short versions now – I’m one of those people who wants to hear the whole thing. We’re testing the boundaries of people’s attention spans when it comes to listening to music, perhaps – but I’m heavily interested in destroying such concepts.”
“Theia,” “The Silver Cord,” and “Set” are further chronicled in an overwhelmingly psychedelic 12-minute music video directed by longtime collaborator Jason Galea, in which the black-clad group initially frolics in a forest full of vivid red foliage. Group member Joey Walker’s alternately creepy and beautiful electronically processed vocals and demonstrative dance moves take center stage on “The Silver Cord,” while the Coachella dance tent-ready “Set” finds group member Ambrose Kenny-Smith crouched by a lake and rapping about the Egyptian god of war: “Horus gave Set the downstairs snip, snip / poked out his eyes and ripped it to pieces / eighty years of conflict / crocodile-dog-birth / Lucifer inverted / slender usurper.”
“It’s metaphysical,” Mackenzie says of The Silver Cord‘s themes, “about the spirit, and about life and death, about ancient myths and gods, meditation and astral traveling. I wanted to make lots of disparate connections.”
“It’s liberating to terrify yourself,” he continues. “I really believe in that as a philosophy. It’s always been part of our DNA. It’s something we’ve always done, putting ourselves in a position where the cortisol kicks in, pushing ourselves off the bridge and forcing ourselves to swim. Maybe we’ve got the thrill-seeker gene in us or something. It’s definitely my idea of fun.”
King Gizzard will tour extensively in 2024, with the first batch of announced dates including a number of three-hour “marathon” sets in such historic locales as the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington State and New York’s Forest Hills Tennis Stadium.