5 Jun 2024

Smote reveal the release of gargantuan new double album

We are ecstatic to announce that Newcastle based band Smote are releasing a brand new double album called 'A Grand Stream' on 23 August.

Watch the Ali Crackett made video for the first track to be revealed 'The Opinion Of The Lamb Pt. 1 (Edit)' above.

Smote's Daniel Foggin says this about the track:
“This is Smote’s take on a party song, a quasi-dance track so to speak. The monomania is so prevalent here and pushed as hard as it possibly can be."


'A Grand Stream' can be preordered now on Ltd edition 'Pink/Black' double vinyl, housed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve via this Bandcamp link, or via all good record shops:



Last Summer, Daniel Foggin, guitarist, writer and chief architect of Smote, uprooted himself from his usual home in Newcastle to live and work in a farmhouse in Kelso, near the Scottish border. “Through the summer when I was working up there, myself and Rob (Smote drummer) would finish work and go sit by a small river and have a couple of beers in the sun, and it was the best thing ever” he relates “So I guess the philosophy is that to some people it looks like any other stream, but to us it was supreme happiness. That can be applied to a lot of things in life”.

Hence came the title of the fourth Smote album proper, one largely recorded in this same farmhouse - A Grand Stream.

It’s an album that’s the truest incarnation thus far of his vision for this band - a full-scale psychic voyage into the ether and a drone-and-repetition-fuelled series of incantations that takes simple, primal ingredients and utilises them for the purposes of aural sorcery, summoning spectres and revelations aplenty in its wake. What has emerged from Foggin’s sojourn in the Borders may be imbued with a rich rural intensity but it’s also perhaps the darkest and more foreboding work that Smote have made to date. As he notes himself, the rawness of this record occurred in tandem with its recording process. 

“I’ve done this pretty DIY, and done stuff that will give most sound engineers nightmares” he laughs, “I’ve got 4 microphones and an interface, and had a whacky set up of my sound city 120 and a 4x12, some synths and basic percussion stuff like tambourines and shakers all in a tiny living room. Then drums, bass and all the other glue was added in my practice room at later dates. I’m really happy with the production on this one; it feels like one sonic journey”.

Barely a truer word could be spoken on this 70-minute-plus opus, which embarks on the most intrepid dive imaginable into the audial Deep End. Whilst the folk-tinged, ceremonial ambience that Smote have made their trademark is present and correct here, as on the ominous rhythms of ‘Coming Out Of A Hedge Backwards’ and the uplifting cadences of opener ‘Sitting Stone Part 1’, Foggin and his cohorts also waste little time exploring new more eerie and ethereal textures and dimensions. The meditative ‘Chantry’ in particular sees them gravitate towards a headspace akin to the drone-based epiphanies of Kali Malone’s ‘Does Spring Hide Its Joy’ filtered through the transcendent amplifier worship of ‘Earth 2’. 

“In terms of influences, I was listening to a lot of Anna Von Hausswolf, Maria W. Horn, and ØXN” reckons Foggin. “I think this is pretty significant in the fact that all of these artists combine traditional instrumentation with contemporary instrumentation, and it’s all fucking heavy. Not so much in the way of playing ridiculous mega riffs, but in terms of using the simple sound of instruments to create atmosphere. For example I think a violin playing double stops can be just as heavy as a cranked no-master volume guitar amp, just like an organ can be just as heavy as tuned oscillators and filtered synthesis”.

Said heaviness manifests itself most powerfully in the mammoth two-parter ‘The Opinion Of The Lamb’ – a near thirty-minute ritualistic voyage into the heart of darkness that melds Swans-style intensity, Trad Gras Och Stenar earthtones and Sunn O))) monomania to devastating effect. This marks the culmination of an album that takes this band – one who’ve always eschewed the cliches and stumbling blocks of all contemporary psych rock in favour of their own unique and wyrd vision - into a realm in which they transcend through willpower and skill alike into something preternaturally thrilling and intimidating, mapping out their own crepuscular new territory in the paranormal. Question is; dare you step over the threshold?

See Smote live:
29 Jun / Hyper Inverter Festival 
2-4 Aug / Oxfordshire / Supernormal Festival
22 Aug / Glasgow / The Hug And Pint
25 Aug / London / Moor Beer Vaults
28 Aug / Ipswich / The Steamboat Tavern
30 Aug / Bristol / Crofters Rights
31 Aug / Birmingham / Supersonic Festival 
05 Sep / Paris / Supersonic
06 Sep / Den Haag / Paard
07 Sep / Ghent / TBC

Front cover sculpture by: Rosie McLachlan