Photography by Erika Denis-Febles

George Ward
George Ward

Freelance journalist based in Bristol. Can be found at the Grain Barge, Rough Trade or in his tiny basement bedroom writing for CLUNK.

Experimental collective HMLTD drop ‘The Worm’, the epic and theatrical title track from their new album, out this Friday

HMLTD’s new album ‘The Worm’ is set in medieval England. It is said to be about a delusion in which frontman Henry Spychalski’s “shadow self is projected and embodied as a giant worm that swallows England, and which must be slain in order to achieve salvation.” It is absolutely insane.

This new single, the title track from the upcoming record, is theatrical, over-dramatic and incredibly impressive. HMLTD blend absurdism and musical theatre influences into an epic 5 minute beast of a track. 

The most striking aspect of ‘The Worm’ is its instrumentation and, with the album’s cast of 47 musicians, including a gospel choir and 16-piece orchestra, this is hardly surprising. The stabbing strings are as aggressive and unnerving as any distorted guitar. The drums build unbearable tension as the track becomes more and more demented. Yes, the track is very silly and in your face, but it is genuinely emotional too. 

The vocals are equally as dramatic. Spychalski’s passionate delivery of his tale is backed by a choir, whose commitment to HMLTD’s ridiculously ambitious vision is fantastic. Their voices together turn the track into a disturbing musical theatre-esque nightmare and, when paired with the video, you will be sucked into the terrifying world of ‘The Worm’ entirely. 

HMLTD are such an incredibly refreshing band. For a sophomore album to be sounding this conceptually ambitious is massively respectable and it will be fascinating to see where ‘The Worm’ fits into the larger project. 

The new album is out on Friday 7th April via Lucky Number.

Listen to/Watch ‘The Worm’ here: