Protomartyr Share Video for New Song “Worm in Heaven” and Postpone New Album Due to COVID-19 | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, December 6th, 2021  

Protomartyr Share Video for New Song “Worm in Heaven” and Postpone New Album Due to COVID-19

Ultimate Success Today Due Out July 17 via Domino; All Tour Dates Cancelled

Apr 28, 2020 Photography by Trevor Naud Protomartyr
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Detroit-formed post-punkers Protomartyr were releasing a new album, Ultimate Success Today, on May 29 via Domino, but now they have pushed its release back to July 17 due to COVID-19 and have also cancelled all their upcoming tour dates. They have also shared another new song from the album, “Worm in Heaven,” via a video for the track. Trevor Naud directed the abstract video, which was inspired by the 1962 Chris Marker short film La Jetée and was made via a 35mm film camera and shot without a crew. Watch it below.

Naud had this to say about the video in a press release: “The idea is a sort of dream chamber that has lured its creator into a near-constant state of isolation. She lives out her days trapped as the sole subject of her own experiment: the ability to simulate death. It is like a drug to her. Everything takes place in a small, claustrophobic environment. With soft, yet sterile visuals. Perhaps a strange combo to reference, but imagine the cover of The Rolling Stones’ Goat’s Head Soup and the character of Carol White in Todd Haynes’ 1995 film Safe.

“I’d been experimenting with shooting multiples of still photographs and stitching them together so that there’s subtle movement, almost like a 3-D camera effect, but awkward and sort of unsettling—like looking at a photograph under shallow water. I shot upwards of 700 still frames on a Nikon F Photomic camera. I embraced the lines and artifacts from the film scans, which give a sort of Xerox quality to some of the images. All the special effects were done in-camera using mirrors, projectors and magnifying glasses.”

Previously Protomartyr shared Ultimate Success Today’s first single, “Processed By the Boys,” via a video for the song. “Processed By the Boys” was one of our Songs of the Week.

Ultimate Success Today is the band’s fifth album and the follow-up to 2017’s Relatives in Descent and 2018’s Consolation E.P., both also released by Domino. Last year they also put out a deluxe reissue of their debut album, No Passion All Technique.

The band co-produced Ultimate Success Today with David Tolomei (Dirty Projectors, Beach House), who also mixed it. It was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios, a late 19th century church in Upstate New York

Protomartyr is Joe Casey (vocals), Greg Ahee (guitars), Alex Leonard (drums), and Scott Davidson (bass guitar). Ultimate Success Today also features various guest musicians: Nandi Rose aka Half Waif (vocals), Jemeel Moondoc (alto sax), Izaak Mills (bass clarinet, sax, flute), and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello).

Casey had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “The re-release of our first album had me thinking about the passage of time and its ultimate conclusion. Listening to No Passion All Technique again, I could hear myself hoping for an introduction and a long future, but also being cognizant that it could be ‘one and done’ for us. So, when it came time to write Ultimate Success Today, I was reminded of that first urgency and how it was an inverse of my current grapple with how terribly ill I’ve been feeling lately. Was that sick feeling coloring how I felt about the state of the world or was it the other way around?

“This panic was freeing in a way. It allowed me to see our fifth album as a possible valediction of some confusingly loud five-act play. In the same light I see it as an interesting mile marker of our first decade of being a band – a crest of the hill along a long highway. Although just to cover my bases, I made sure to get my last words in while I still had the breath to say them.”

Read our 2017 interview with Protomartyr.

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