Door Time: 7pm

Ride today unveil new single ‘Last Frontier,’ the second offering from their recently announced seventh studio album, Interplay, out 29th March via Wichita Recordings / PIAS. The Oxford four piece also this week revealed plans for a run of UK and Ireland Tour Dates, which will see them play 16 cities throughout September 2024, including Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and London’s iconic Roundhouse. Before then they will be heading to the USA and Canada for 11 dates in May. Full tour listing below – tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday.

The steadily building ethereal stomp of new single ‘Last Frontier’ pairs kaleidoscopic layers of sound with classic indie songwriting. Speaking on the track, guitarist and singer Andy Bell says: “This was the runt of the litter of the very first jam session from Mark’s OX4 Studio and I didn’t even include it on my shortlist of the best tracks. It was our producer Richie Kennedy who saw the potential of the song, and we attacked this with a vengeance at Vada studio. A complete revamp of the backing track and arrangement was needed and we took it right back to basics, more towards a pounding Joy Division feel.”

“For the topline, I tried improvising at the mic, singing it all different ways, and coming up with new parts on the spot. I felt really exposed but kind of said to myself, ‘you’re among friends, it’s good to push yourself to try new ways to write.’ It feels different to every vocal I’ve ever done. It’s still a new way of working for me but it’s something I want to continue trying as I think it makes for better vocal lines; a good mixture of written and improvised.”

Interplay is Ride’s third album since reforming in 2014, having now been together longer in their current second phase than their original iteration as 90’s shoegaze pioneers. It will follow 2017’s Weather Diaries and 2019’s This Is Not A Safe Place, which re-lit the Ride spark, both pleasing old diehards and introducing one of the most forward-thinking guitar bands of their generation to a whole new audience. Produced by the band with Richie Kennedy and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer, it connects all the dots from their career, taking the frenzied guitar attacks, hypnotic grooves and dreamy melodic hooks of their early work and setting it to a more expansive sonic template, inspired by 80’s pop gems like Tears For Fears, Talk Talk & early U2.

Thematically, it pairs classic Ride lyrical hallmarks such as escapism, dreams, and the dissatisfaction of modern life with a sense of resilience and perseverance that come from imploding, then reforming and finding a way forward to their second peak, as Andy explains: “This album has taken a long time to make, and has seen the band go through a lot of ups and downs; maybe the most of any Ride album. But it has seen us come through the process as a band in a good place, feeling able to shake off the past, and ready to celebrate the combined musical talents that brought us together in the first place.”

Made up of guitarist/vocalists Andy Bell and Mark Gardener, alongside drummer Laurence “Loz” Colbert and bassist Steve Queralt, Ride were formed in Oxford in 1988; four friends rooted in art school aesthetics who combined 60s guitar-pop sensibilities with avalanches of noise and driving rhythms. It was a recalibration of indie-rock that would come to be defined as ‘shoegaze’ and with their seminal 1990 debut Nowhere came a run of critical and commercial success that eventually hit the skids in 1996, with intra-band turmoil prompting them to call it a day.

They reformed in 2014, finding a global scene full of bands indebted to Ride and their peers (Tame Impala, Beach House et al), and after a successful tour went into the studio with legendary producer Erol Alkan to create the critically acclaimed Weather Diaries and follow up This Is Not A Safe Place. Now in 2024, shoegaze is one of music’s fastest growing genres, having picked up a new wave of Gen-Z fans via TikTok, with artists such as DIIV and bdrmm converting millions of views into impressive streaming numbers and ticket sales. A quarter of a century since originally forming and with a new generation discovering their music, Interplay finds Ride hitting new creative heights and stronger than ever.

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