Celebrating the release of their second album, IDLES are hosting a free art exhibition at HM Electrics Gallery on the 30th and 31st of August. During its two-day run, the display will showcase the work of 18 artists across several mediums. All the artworks will be available for purchase, and the profit from the sales will be donated to Samaritans – a suicide prevention charity.
The band has been pretty clear when it comes to their stance on toxic masculinity. One of their latest releases, Samaritans, criticises the standards that force many men to internalise their issues as they are told to “man up” and “wear a mask” to fit the unhealthy standards that the society expects them to perform to. And the pressure is ever-increasing, making for overwhelmingly heartbreaking statistics: according to last year’s report from the Samaritans charity, over 4,500 men in the UK took their own life in 2015, making for the biggest group affected by this modern epidemic.
“There’s been a long line of bullshit that has pushed men into a corner, where simple masking becomes a trope of masculinity and a catalyst for insanity,” said the frontman Joe Talbot.
“What we wear, what we eat, what razor we use, high performance chewing gum, go faster shampoo, how we treat women, how we treat ourselves, how we die. I truly believe that masculinity has gone from an evolution of cultural praxis to a disease. I wanted to encourage a conversation about gender roles by writing this song.”
Their upcoming album Joy as an Act of Resistance, to be released on the 31st of August (available for preorder) and accompanied by two London shows (the 30th of August at Banquet Records, the 4th of September at Rough Trade East), is a call for change and an invitation to be vulnerable. Produced by Space and mixed by Adam Greenspan and Nick Launay who have worked with Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kate Bush, their new material aims to stay positive while tackling the burning issues that impact how we live as a society at this very moment.
“This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a brave naked smile in this shitty new world,” Joe explains. “We have stripped back the songs and lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, to celebrate our differences, and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.”
Watch the video for their newest single Great below.