London-based three-piece Arliston return with the hard-hitting ‘Politics’. An honest and conscientious track, ‘Politics’ follows the first two singles ‘Enough’ and ‘Language of Strangers’ that took the radio by storm. “A lot of the lyrics are about different little incidental moments, but the main theme of the song is trying to come to terms with the tricky situation of identity politics and tribalism within relationships or friendships”, front-man Jack Ratcliffe explains. “It’s quite a big subject to cover in a few verses and a couple of choruses, so it ended up being quite abstract in order to cover more ground! It seems like after the battle lines have been drawn, figures in the news have been singled out as one-dimensional cartoon characters, which represent either ‘good’ or ‘evil’, with very little middle ground left between the two. The song is attempting to address this and the sort of moral superiority that has taken over some of the Twitter storms, where momentum and outrage, and the perceived value of ‘being offended’ has gained so much momentum that it disables any kind of reasonable discussion. ‘Politics’ doesn’t really offer any solution other than to suggest an escape from it is perhaps the best way forward is to ignore political differences on a personal level and not paint with a broad brushstroke… The song applies on a personal as well as political level.” With a video directed by Vladimir Woodham-Smith and Jessica Belgrave, Jack continues, “In the video, for instance, the subject is much more about detachment and the flames being a signifier of inescapable time and decay. But, there is also the above aspect to the song, which covers detachment from Political alignment, and attempting to empathize with different perspectives, rather than being black and white.”
“The Politics video was made down in Brighton with fish tanks, mannequins, and whatever pyrotechnics we could lay our hands on. The song itself is about detachment, so we wanted to create a strong visual sense of the minds detachment from the body. The qualitative conscious experience versus the physical experience. The mannequins start, floating in the pool, fully formed and in balanced symmetry together. Then, as the song progresses and the fire threatens to emerge, they begin to lose physical pieces of themselves. A head, a hand, an arm, a foot. Until they are just torsos suspended in water. Eventually, the video culminates in them standing upright, fully formed again. No longer floating and treading water but willing and resolved to stand against the inevitable cruelty of time. If not able to stop it, then at least able to stand and face it together.” – Jack
Arliston consists of George Hasbury (Keys, Guitar, Bass and Backing Vocals), Jordi Bosch (Drums, Synth & Backing Vocals) and Jack Ratcliffe (Guitar & Lead Vocals). Their first EP Hawser was created in a small studio basement. Nestled underground, between two large construction sites, each promising a new tower block of ‘affordable & luxury living space’. Below an arterial East London road, pumping vehicles into the heart of the city. As you descend the stairs, the hot noise of traffic and the yellowed sun is replaced by a relatively quiet and the flicker of halogen bulbs. This is where the band ‘Hawser’ was formed and ultimately, ended. Hawser had a few gigs, but nothing spectacular. The music seemed to have something, but a string of setbacks including the loss of two consecutive drummers meant that the project was disbanded. The two remaining members: George Hasbury and Jack Ratcliffe remained to audition new drummers. After a couple of try-outs Jordi Bosch came along, and quickly it became clear that something special could be possible. Arliston was created. 8 months on, and the first EP has arrived with the latest single ‘Politics’ making waves all over the world. Although it was meant to be a band-name, Hawser actually becomes an unwittingly fitting name for the EP. It is Arliston’s connection to its roots. The rope which moors them to the past, but also pulls them forward, out of failure and (hopefully) into some degree of success.
Hawser is out now
Live dates 12th December at The Workshop, London 8th January at The Finsbury, London