After a nine-year hiatus, composer and frontman Charlie Looker returns to the aesthetics of the band’s 2008 debut, Secular Works, the original statement which put them on the map.
LISTEN NOW TO TRACK 6, “DIAGONAL POWER”
Extra Life’s classic, iconoclastic cocktail of Byzantine math rock complexity, metallic aggression, medieval vocal acrobatics, orchestral dynamics, dark synth ambience, and islands of pop accessibility, is back in full force.
Looker is backed by a new rhythm section of bassist Toby Driver (mastermind of Kayo Dot), and virtuoso Belgian drummer Gil Chevigné (of Helium Horse Fly), both of whom add personal flair and detail to all the compositions. The line-up also features original band member Caley Monahon-Ward, on violin and viola, whose imaginative string arrangements add further heights of cinematic drama. Majestic brass fanfares are delivered by special guests, trumpeter Nate Wooley, and horn player Michael Atkinson.
Lyrically, Secular Works, Vol. 2 departs somewhat from the classic Extra Life releases. Looker’s earlier introspective negotiations of sexuality, power, personal narratives, and perverse humor have given way to more expansive, open-ended, macroscopic meditations on spirituality, death, time, fate, and cosmic affirmation. The songs also simply have fewer lyrics, overall, with repetition carrying large passages of the music.
The album was recorded by in-demand New York producer Ben Greenberg, known for his work with Uniform, Bambara, and other dark, underground acts. His unique approach brings to the album a warmer, edgier, more aggressive sound than any prior Extra Life release.
Secular Works, Vol. 2 is guaranteed to deeply move fans of the original Extra Life phase, and to draw in anyone with a love of experimental, ambitious, dramatic art.
Secular Works, Vol. 2
1. What is Carved
2. Coming Apart
3. The Play of Tooth and Claw
4. We Are Not the Same
5. What’s Been Lost?
6. Diagonal Power
7. How to Die
ALBUM RELEASE DATE
July 2, 2022