Leeds’ Treeboy & Arc announce debut album Natural Habitat out 7th July 2023 as well that they’ve signed with EMI North partnered Clue Records. They also share new single ‘Retirement’, as well as announcing a headline show at London’s Moth Club for 18th October, and that they’ll be supporting DITZ next month on selected dates.
A five-piece formed out of teenage friendships and New Year’s Eve encounters, ‘Retirement’ is one of the final songs written for the album with the majority of the lyrics hastily thrown together from note pages and then recorded the next day – not your average post-punk, but bordering on catchy brit-pop.
On the track guitarist Ben Morgan said, “We recorded the album in winter and at the time I was working at a cafe/restaurant. Most mornings I would have to get up at 5am, it would still be pitch black outside, hurriedly dress myself in multiple layers top and bottom and endure the 20 or so minute cycle through the bitter cold to work. I would arrive just before 6am where I would drag 20 or so tables and their accompanying chairs from inside the restaurant and onto the outdoor terrace, despite the fact that I knew for certain not a single person would sit on them all day in the sub zero temperatures. It was this utter futility that left me longing to retire, at 25.”
He adds, “It was frustrating that I had to work this meaningless job in order to survive but wasn’t able to commit the time and effort to the things I actually cared about. Being any kind of “creative” often takes a lot of hard work to and to do it properly is almost like a full time job in itself, except usually minus the financial gain. Many people are in a constant battle between survival and finding the time to do the things that truly matter to them, this is what retirement is about.”
Watch / Listen to ‘Retirement’ HERE
For the video, the idea behind it was essentially for the band to be playing in the absolute smallest pub they could find in Leeds, with some retired folk around, completely unaware of the racket surrounding them. Instead, just focusing on enjoying their usual day-to-day hobbies. Crosswords, reading the paper, catching up with each other, having a pint and just generally chilling out.
Natural Habitat is Treeboy & Arc’s most ambitious release to date, after the original version was scrapped. With the opportunity to really experiment in the studio, the songs recorded became darker, harsher, and more brutal sounding than any of the original demos the band had recorded themselves. With two singers and two lyricists, the meaning of each song feels completely separate from the last. From anxiety to the supernatural, whether disguised by cryptic language or told as “matter of fact”, the album discusses the full spectrum of emotions.
The band felt it important to keep things homegrown and chose to work alongside seminal Leeds producer Matt Peel at his studio The Nave, who has worked on the likes of TRAAMS, W.H. LUNG, Eagulls, Pulled Apart By Horses, Heck, and more, helping them create a brand new sound.
They pit pop songs against avant-garde, kraut-punk noise to see which elements come out on top, perfectly setting the scene for abstract tales of disillusionment, loss, ill health and the occasional Bob Mortimer obsession. The lyrics often dark and sinister sounding, you don’t need to listen hard to hear the tongue-in-cheek wit and cynicism in their deliveries that is so often associated with the North of England.
After successful single releases, via Leeds’ Come Play With Me Records and London’s lauded tastemaker label Speedy Wunderground, the band self-released their debut EP Life Preserver to high praise from the likes of BBC6 Music, BBC Radio 1, So Young Magazine, DIY, CLASH, and more. In 2022 they played The Great Escape, Left Of The Dial in Rotterdam, and toured Europe. They’ve previously shared stages with Parquet Courts, Shame, Ulrika Spacek, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and toured with Crows and LIFE, as well as being supported by PRS Foundation.
Treeboy & Arc have so far been confirmed to perform at Sound & Vision, Ceremony at Esquires, Blue Dot Festival, and today announce a headline show at London’s Moth Club for October. They’ll also support DITZ next month at selected dates. Tickets on-sale now HERE.
Treeboy & Arc are:
James Kay – Bass / Vocals
Ben Morgan – Guitar / Vocals
Sammy Robinson – Synths
George Townend – Guitar
Isaac Turner – Drums
Out 7th July 2023 via Clue Records