Instantly recognisable to anyone who has seen Bicep’s lauded live show in recent times, “Water” is another keenly anticipated fan-favorite that finally sees an official release. Featuring vocals from Clara La San, who also appeared on several tracks from the duo’s #2 UK charting album ‘Isles’, “Water” represents their first brand new music since that album. It’s another stand-out moment of euphoria, propelled by Bicep’s timeless production and Clara’s mesmerizing vocals towards a swirling crescendo of neon synths and driving 4×4 kicks.
The release also contains the b-side “Waterfall”, an earlier, instrumental version of “Water” which gives fans a chance to gain an insight into how the ideas for the finished track have developed over time. This is an ethos that has carried through all of Bicep’s recent work, their last album ‘Isles’ was always intended to be fluid, with the tracks in their recorded form evolving and mutating for the live shows and beyond, as seen with the recent release of “Meli (II)”, originally a beatless track on their ‘Isles Deluxe’ release.
Describing the process of how both tracks came into being, the duo explain that “Water” was solely intended to be a standalone thing, essentially developed for the live show to cater for a specific moment in the set. “There was no outright idea when we started, but the original “Waterfall” was born out of experimentation with an instrument called the MEGAfm. It’s a new synth but has chips inside which formed the sounds of the SEGA Megadrive/Genesis games consoles. Weirdly it got more computer game sounding when we developed it into “Water”, speeding up and slowing down the lead line and LFOs to give that classic low-bit sound effect.”
“We always like to be fluid with ideas and never stick to one direction, when we play live we develop tracks and constantly tweak and change elements and like to employ that process in the studio too. We work with Clara a lot and even from the early “Waterfall” demos we had vocal sounding pads in there which we had in mind for her to sing along with. Both “Water” and “Waterfall” have the same spine, but have two totally different directions in terms of how they finished up. It’s a common thing in the studio to start on one demo and go in different directions but end up liking both and not knowing which to choose.”
“We like both directions and think some people will like one over the other. When we ran the blog from time to time we would find original demos of famous songs released in the past and ended up preferring those. Sometimes the rawness in the original idea is nice to hear and can end up being appreciated in a totally different way.”
Recently hailed by the BBC as “one of the biggest names in UK dance”, Bicep continue to cement themselves as one of the defining global electronic acts of our times. The release of “Water” comes ahead of their biggest UK shows to date with back-to-back performances at London’s 10k capacity Alexandra Palace on 2nd and 3rd of December 2022 — both of which sold out in just 5 minutes — a headline arena tour throughout Europe this Autumn including Zenith Paris, Lotto Arena Antwerp and UFO Velodrom Berlin, and a run of high-profile festival and headline shows across Australia in the new year including stops in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Renowned for their epic, immersive production and visuals from Black Box Echo’s Zak Norman, almost 1 million people will have had the chance to see Bicep play live 2022, including headline performances at Glastonbury — where they closed the festival’s second biggest stage in front of 35k people with a now legendary set that was televised on the BBC via their online iPlayer platform — Primavera (Barcelona and Los Angeles), Parklife, Wide Awake, AVA and Field Day. They also completed a sold-out UK tour that included three headline shows at London’s O2 Academy Brixton, and two North American tours that included a sold-out show at NYC’s Knockdown Center, Portola festival San Francisco and shows in Denver, Chicago, Austin and more.
Released in January 2021 to widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike, ’Isles’ was described as “a tour de force of neon euphoria” (Resident Advisor), “brimming with restless energy” (Evening Standard), “one of the defining dance music albums of 2021” (Mixmag), “intricate, moody, nostalgic, introspective and emotional” (Billboard) and named The Guardian’s ‘Album of the Week’. It debuted at #2 on the UK Official Albums Chart and #1 on the UK Official Vinyl Albums Chart, earning the duo two BRITs nominations — for Best British Group & Breakthrough Act — in the process.
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