One Track Mind: Blackfield, “Pills” from Blackfield IV (2013)

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Even as Steven Wilson focuses more determinedly on his solo career, Blackfield — his concurrent, more pop-focused project with Aviv Geffen — continues forward.

“Pills,” this episodic, deeply ruminative lead track from the forthcoming Blackfield IV, makes one final case for what they once had as a partnership. Perhaps more than anything on 2011’s Welcome to my DNA, it recalls Blackfield’s earliest emotionally complex, darkly layered sound.

And that’s as surprising as it is oddly satisfying. Because this new album has been portrayed as a more Geffen-focused production — with just the slightest of contributions from Wilson, who was at work on his well-received The Raven and Other Stories during the same time period. The earlier DNA had included Wilson as a writer on only one track and as lead vocalist on just five of the 11 tracks.

So, all signs pointed to Blackfield IV (due on May 21, 2013) as a complete departure — and it may well be, with news that a series of guest stars including former touring mate Vincent Cavanagh of Anathema are on board. In the meantime, though, “Pills” serves as a powerful reminder of everything that initially worked so well with this collaboration between Geffen and Wilson.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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