Tomorrow, the boozy Detroit post-punks of Protomartyr will release a new EP entitled Consolation, which features Kelley Deal of the Breeders and assorted other groups. We’ve already heard “Wheel of Fortune,” and today they’ve dropped “You Always Win,” with swirling backing vocals from Deal behind a typically magisterial performance from Protomartyr’s Joe Casey.
Consolation also features chamber ensemble arrangements from Deal and her R. Ring bandmate Mike Montgomery. In a 2017 Spin interview, Protomartyr talked about the influence of composers like Mica Levi on their last full-length Relatives in Descent, but they’ve never been closer to the sound of contemporary classical music than they are here, with strings and bass clarinet swarming tightly around Greg Ahee’s metallic guitar. The dissonance of the arrangement, combined with Casey’s poetic dejectedness and sly humor, bring Scott Walker to mind. Hear it below.