If you know noise-rock misanthropes KEN mode, then you probably guessed that their new song "A Love Letter" in not a love song. "I don't feel bad for insufferable people; not everyone has an angel," vocalist-guitarist Jesse Matthewson (his brother Shane drums in the band) snarls at its open. "I am a student of predators — it was a mistake to ask me for help."
The savage, cacophonous lead single off the band's upcoming eighth album, NULL, "A Love Letter" also serves to introduce collaborator Kathryn Kerr as a full-fledged member of the band, contributing saxophone, synth, piano, percussion and backing vox, adding an industrial density to the group's already flattening sound. Revolver is stoked to premiere the song and its decidedly aggro music video today (June 10th). Watch and listen above.
"Sometimes lists of all the things you never said end up getting said in the form of a love letter," Jesse tells us of the song. He adds of the album writ large: "In 1999, I didn't know why I needed to create, I just wanted to. In 2022, it's one of the only acts I have left that keeps away crippling depression. If I take too much time off, it comes crawling back into my life. I need this act to concentrate and neutralize the poison in my brain. NULL is a documentation of trying to not fall apart, the most desperate way you know how. I felt so unmotivated at so many points over the last two years, that if I was going to try to create, it had to be as painfully honest as possible, otherwise it just didn't feel real to me. We tried to experiment more with our sound than we ever have before, as we felt like there was really no reason to do anything at all unless we were trying to push this into something new."
NULL is KEN mode's first release for Artoffact Records (Kælan Mikla, Cloud Rat) and the first part of a planned two-album arc that was written, according to Jesse, "with the intention of being two separate works that could be coupled together to make one full album with a cohesive flow and feeling, with every song holding a specific place and feeling within the overarching theme."
NULL is available for pre-order now, and "A Love Letter" can be streamed via Bandcamp, Spotify and Apple Music.