Montreal-based rock outfit Atsuko Chiba to release new album “Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing” on January 20th on Mothland. Their latest offering leads listeners down a path of epic sprawling soundscapes.

Asymmetric, yet seamless time signatures, otherworldly synthetic frequencies, patented harmonies, raga-inspired melodies, cryptic lyrics, and orchestral arrangements co-exist within this surreal musical tale recounting one’s relation to their environment.

Archived at Room 11 – Atsuko Chiba’s studio – alongside the band’s sixth member, engineer Matthew Cerantola, this collection of musical moments stems from months of experimentation taken on by the musicians, as well as from conceptual dichotomies born in strange times. Roaming free along a multitude of genres, akin to a flagless ship cutting through beautiful, yet troubled waters, this third full-length from the Montrealers should please fans of The Mars Volta, Beak> or Spirit of the Beehive.

Atsuko Chiba on the new album: “As opposed to our last album, which was about introspection, spacetime, and the personal journey, the themes explored on this new album are related to our environment and our reaction to it. Though not meant to be strictly political, our references stem from highly politicized movements and ideas. Division and group ideology are heavily explored.

A prime example is the weaponization of vocabulary used to distract, displace and alienate us, forcing us to pick sides on every front. Our lyrics also strongly denote our innate love for all living things, encompassing a hopeful, if somewhat violent, plea for change.”

Montreal’s Atsuko Chiba venture somehow crosses genre-defining borders with a cohesive and hypnotic blend of post-rock, progressive rock, and krautrock, weaving together a rich sonic tapestry that subverts through offbeat songwriting.

Following two early releases that showcase improvised sessions, Atsuko Chiba recorded a first full-length entitled “Jinn” in 2013. The artist then followed with two Eps in 2016: “Figure And Ground” and “The Memory Empire”.

On April 12th, 2019, Mothland released their sophomore long player “Trace”, revealing a new depth to their already diversified sonic palette, proposing an elegant balance between straightforwardness and psychedelia. More recently, the quintet provided their fans with a breathtaking live session commissioned by renowned alternative broadcaster, Audiotree Worldwide.

In early 2022, the experimental rock orchestra retreated to their secret lair, Room 11 – a custom recording facility built by the band between 2017 and 2021 – to record a third full-length, further refining their unique sonic alloy, a reconciliation of extremes, equally informed by the fringes of musical exploration as well as by pop music, past and present.

Live, Atsuko Chiba combines their brand of experimental rock with video and light installations triggered in real-time by the band, creating an immersive multisensorial environment. The five-piece heads back on the road with a slew of concerts in early 2023.

“Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing” will be out on January 20, 2023, on Mothland, pre-save it here.

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Band photos: (c) Stacy Lee