U.K. post-punk band Shame have shared a new single “Alphabet”—their first new music since their 2018 debut album Songs of Praise. It also comes with a Tegen Williams-directed video, a trippy clip filled with paper-mache heads and violent shadows, meant to evoke a mind confused by one’s own dreams.
Like most Shame songs, “Alphabet” is armed with full-throttle momentum, and frontman Charlie Steen’s direct yet playful vocal inflection. “Are you waiting / to feel good / Are you praying / like you should?” Steen asks. It’s not so much a sonic departure as it is a distillation of their barreling punk sound.
Steen says of the new song and video:
“Alphabet” is a direct question, to the audience and the performer, on whether any of this will ever be enough to reach satisfaction. At the time of writing it, I was experiencing a series of surreal dreams where a manic subconscious was bleeding out of me and seeping into the lyrics. All the unsettling and distressing imagery I faced in my sleep have taken on their own form in the video.
Watch the video for “Alphabet” below, and read Paste’s 2018 interview with the band here.