Still fresh from signing with Merge, Ought will release Room Inside the World on February 16. The album, their third LP and first for Merge, explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. The band share first single These 3 Things and an accompanying video today along with the album announcement, as well as a world tour itinerary for 2018.
Of the video, directors Jonny Look (Grizzly Bear, Cloud Nothings, Cass McCombs) and Scottie Cameron say:
“Life can be problematic. Everything takes time and energy. We challenged ourselves to create devices of great convenience using three items. When initially testing the convenience machines without the human variable, we discovered luxury and success. However, it was sterile. The beauty only came with the unpredictable moments brought by the human element. Being human is better than looking for an easy way out.”
Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World was approached with newfound patience. Together, Ought constructed a (digital) moodboard to set their intentions: Brian Eno and Stereolab synths, the Mekons’ 1985 album Fear and Whiskey, and Gerhard Richter and Kenneth Anger’s sexy, fluorescent hyperreal all made it into the melting pot. Holed up in their rehearsal building, an industrial rock block (and sock factory) overlooking the Trans-Canada Highway, the band strove for greater detail and specificity than before while remaining true to the collaborative, intuitive writing process that yielded their earlier work. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.