Mystery Jets have announced that their sixth studio album A Billion Heartbeats will be released on 27 September on Caroline International. The band also today release ‘Screwdriver’, the first single to be taken from the album.
‘Screwdriver’ is an uncompromising look at the rise of the re-branded alt-right in the UK, built around a powerfully positive message: “Fight them with love / then the world will be ours“.
Lead singer Blaine Harrison says of the song, “Screwdriver’ is about the mechanics of intolerance. Looking back at times of economic instability in history, we see how easily deep chasms grow in society and the population seeks change wherever it is most convincingly promised.
“Conflict arises as cultures and belief systems clash, unwilling to accept one another’s place in society, because we are fed the rhetoric that our neighbours are those responsible for our problems: then inevitably nationalism once more raises its ugly head above the parapet. But whereas political agendas fuel divisiveness, music unites and reminds us of all that we have in common. The message of Screwdriver is not a pessimistic one – because perhaps faced with confrontation we can find understanding, and even maybe learn how to listen to, and love one another.”
Each room of the house in the video is a metaphor for the different sections of society in the UK. It wraps around the narrative of the song, that in order to overcome adversity, you have to “Fight Them With Love.” All great albums start from a unique perspective. But, try a window on the Strand, in an abandoned office block, overlooking the kind of political upheaval London hasn’t seen in a generation.
Blaine Harrison was living as a property guardian right around the corner from Trafalgar Square when he found himself witness to an entire year of protests. Every weekend from January 2017 on, people were marching for a different cause: “In the space of six months it was Black Lives Matter, the huge ‘Our NHS’ march, Unite for Europe,” he recalls. “Then the solidarity sleep-out organised by Help Refugees, where we slept in Whitehall for the night… The protestors would wake me up in the morning. I’d just walk down and join in.”
Over the course of that year, Mystery Jets’ sixth long-player, A Billion Heartbeats, was born. “This album wasn’t about making pointed opinions,” says Harrison. “It was about being a mirror for what’s going on, reflecting back the way people are feeling.”
Mystery Jets are on a UK tour later this year in support of A Billion Heartbeats and can be seen at the following dates:
05 Nov: Junction, Cambridge
06 Nov: The Mill, Birmingham
07 Nov: Waterfront, Norwich
09 Nov: 2Q Festival, Lincoln
10 Nov: The Riverside, Newcastle
11 Nov: The Caves, Edinburgh
12 Nov: Oran Mor, Glasgow
14 Nov: Academy 2, Manchester
15 Nov: The Wardrobe, Leeds
16 Nov: The Welly, Hull
18 Nov: Concorde 2, Brighton
19 Nov: Trinity Hall, Bristol
20 Nov: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.