This time of year glimmers with the promise of fresh starts and unlocking one’s full potential—ostensibly positive resolutions rooted in a culture that thrives on (women’s) self-loathing. It’s the perfect moment for Savages to release ” Adore ” The French/British four-piece’s raison d’être lies in confronting matters of desire, though until now, that’s usually meant unconventional sex. And while there’s plenty of that on the upcoming Adore Life, “Adore” cuts to the marrow of what it truly means to live a fulfilling existence: the sacrifices that may be necessary to live without regret, where desire is no longer synonymous with guilt. “Is it human to adore life?” Jehnny Beth asks in an unusually forlorn tone at the end of each verse.
” Adore ” creaks like a colossal ship, and spends most of its first three minutes pooling in dark circles; it’s closer to post-rock than any of Savages’ prior frenzied assaults. The spartan sound offers a chance to see the four-piece’s stirring dynamic as if through a microscope, as Gemma Thompson’s guitar, veering between tremulous and stormy, creeps around Ayşe Hassan’s funereal bass like algae on an anchor. Thompson’s instrument rises to a dirge in the choruses, where Beth’s tone turns triumphant and operatic—bringing an unexpected Queen influence to Adore Life, and underscoring the raised fist on its cover—only for it to all fall away again.
That is, until Savages push their knack for tension to extremes at the mid-point of “Adore”, with five seconds of silence that break up Beth’s declaration: “I may die, maybe tomorrow/ So I need to say… I adore life.” From there, Savages raise the dead, scaling Mogwai-level mountainous highs as Beth demands, “I adore life/ Do you adore life?” in an increasingly weightless falsetto. For all that Savages have sung of porn, violence, and polygamy, for all their almost grindcore assaults, they have never sounded as confrontational, as affecting, as radical. “Adore” needs no accompanying manifesto instructing you to shed distractions; it’s all there in one simple, gut-wrenching question.
Read more at: Pitchfork