Along with the album news, the band - consisting of Dawn Bothwell, Rhodri Davies, Richard Dawson and Sally Pilkington -has shared a video for lead single ‘Trouble’.
The iconic and radical ‘Trouble’ video is performed and directed from the bubble of eight months-pregnant Bothwell’s Newcastle home. Dressed as superhero ‘Hestia’, signing and singing the Dawson-written lyrics in British Sign Language, she offers up her treasured artefacts, like a trail of breadcrumbs, cryptic clues and interwoven references to creative projects and people.
Bothwell says of ‘Trouble': “The simplicity and directness of the video glimpses the ‘soft power‘ brewing inside a bubble of love and creativity at home, contrasting with a stark and uncertain world outside.”
Following on from the quartet’s previous album Mogic, with its digital overtones and themes of artificial intelligence, Free Humans takesa deliberately organic and natural approach. Inspired as much by ABBA as the work of 12th century mystic-composer-naturalist-visionary Hildegard von Bingen, touched equally by the spirits of radical philosophical plumber Mary Midgley and PC Music star Hannah Diamond, as quiet as the paintings of Agnes Martin yet bombastic like a Werner Herzog documentary... it’s an album of seamless, glorious contradictions. Tackling themes of love, friendship, Gaia theory, sewers, the nature of time, human stench, and the thrills of wild swimming, it’s remarkable that, given the intense collision of influences and wide-ranging ideas at play, Free Humans somehow coheres into a marvellous whole.
Free Humans doesn’t shy away from the fact humans are killing the earth, but it does it with spiky wit. Hen Ogledd manages to hold both the tragedy of the wrongs happening in the world and also a sense of hope and liberation in their hands at the same time.