Although ‘Grounds’ has been in the pipeline for a while and played at shows on IDLES’ last tour, the song’s recent release on June 16th feels very apt and relevant right now.
In alignment with the band’s recent fundraising and support of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests, the lyrics in ‘Grounds’ express solidarity and allyship, epitomised by “So I raise my pink fist and say, ‘Black is beautiful’”. There is a definite call for unity in the explosive lines “Do you hear that thunder? / That’s the sound of strength in numbers” and “I am I / Unify”.
Their angry grunge sound allows the band to express their frustration at inequality within society while also cleverly crafting lyrics with a meaningful, anti-racist message. This is not new for IDLES; historically they have utilised their music as a vehicle to talk about wide-ranging social and political issues. A notable example of this was their comments on Brexit in ‘Great’.
The music video for ‘Grounds’ is striking: it feels raw and rugged to compliment the strong guitar riffs and drums. Simultaneously, the baby pink tones of the sky in the background adds a softer, reflective edge too.
IDLES is definitely worth a listen, not only for their cracking basslines but also for the way they use their platform to unpack important topics. Have a look out for their new album Ultra Mono on September 25th.
Words by Elle Woods-Marshall
Photo by @tomhaam