Simon Armitage, UK's poet laureate, forms post-rock band LYR

Genre-blending post-rock supergroup LYR is comprised of current UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, musician Richard Walters, and producer and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Pearson.

Having signed an exclusive record deal with Mercury KX, the band have released their debut single, ‘Never Good With Horses’, accompanied by a cinematic music video directed by Australian Matthew Thorne. Thorne recently directed the short film The Sand That Ate The Sea, with soundtrack by Luke Howard, and the music video for the Ólafur Arnalds x RY X collaboration track ‘Oceans’.

The song is a keenly felt description of disappointment in a relationship, with a narrator who is resigned to stomach a partner’s “sugar cube” lies. Minimal piano builds to soaring and wistful strings, with a sung refrain from Walters which recalls the heart-tugging power of Sigur Rós.

As with all eleven tracks on LYR’s forthcoming album, here Simon Armitage writes from the point of view of a fictional character.

The speaker is a woman describing her disenchantment with a partner who exhibits traditional male characteristics of insensitivity and a lack of empathy,” Armitage explains. “That phrase ‘Never Good With Horses’ just drifted into my head one day and the whole thing just fell out of the title, like a Venetian blind.” Breaking barriers and building unexpected bridges between different worlds is embedded in the core of LYR — and is a galvanising philosophy for the band as they prepare to unveil their music to their world.

To be released on 29 May 2020 on UK-based label Mercury KX, LYR’s debut album Call in the Crash Team is an easy-to-love midpoint between poetic spoken passages, soaring vocal melodies, and instrumentation which gleams like a rough-cut jewel. A sonic exploration that manifests in the album’s ambient post-rock passages, jazz flourishes, experimental atonality, swoony strings and and meditative piano.