Muse will release their ninth album, Will of the People, on Aug. 26. The British alt-prog trio previewed the project with lead single “Compliance,” paired with an unnerving video.
“Compliance” is a funky, synth-streaked track built on a distorted bass groove, punchy drums and vocoder chords that swoop in to color Matt Bellamy’s soaring chorus vocal. The video adds a creepy edge, utilizing imagery of burning cars, glowing eyes, masks and mysterious pills.
You can watch the clip below.
In a press release, Bellamy detailed the inspiration for “Compliance,” calling it a song “about submission to authoritarian rules and reassuring untruths to be accepted to an in-group.”
“Gangs, governments, demagogues, social media algorithms and religions seduce us during times of vulnerability, creating arbitrary rules and distorted ideas for us to comply with,” he noted. “They sell us comforting myths, telling us only they can explain reality while simultaneously diminishing our freedom, autonomy and independent thought. We are not just coerced, we are herded, frightened and corralled to produce a daily ‘two minutes of hate’ against an out-group of their choosing and to turn a blind eye to our own internal voice of reason and compassion. They just need our compliance.”
He also described how Will of the People, which follows 2018’s Simulation Theory, was “influenced by the increasing uncertainty and instability in the world.”
“A pandemic, new wars in Europe, massive protests and riots, an attempted insurrection, Western democracy wavering, rising authoritarianism, wildfires and natural disasters and the destabilization of the global order all informed Will of the People,” he wrote. “It has been a worrying and scary time for all of us as the Western empire and the natural world, which have cradled us for so long are genuinely threatened. This album is a personal navigation through those fears and preparation for what comes next.”
The self-produced Will of the People was recorded in London and Los Angeles. Grammy winner Serban Ghenea (Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift) mixed eight of the album’s 10 songs.
Fans can pre-order the album, with “Compliance” and “Won’t Stand Down” offered as instant downloads. Multiple formats will be available: digital, CD, black vinyl and other collectible editions, including a marbled double-vinyl only sold through the band’s official store.
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