Formed in 2017, the rising Bristol, UK-based trio My Octopus Mind — Liam O’Connell (guitar, vocals, piano), Isaac Ellis (double bass, rawrs) and Oliver Cocup (drums, raws) — have developed a unique take on experimental rock that features elements of psychedelic post punk, wonky riffs, gorgeous melodies and Balkan rhythms centered around a subversive songwriting approach.
Last year was a momentous year for the British experimental trio: they released their full-length debut Maladyne Cave, which they supported with two subsequent DIY European tours. While Maladyne Cave was an internal and probing analysis, the act’s sophomore album Faulty at Source, which was recorded with Jake Bright at Bristol’s Christchurch Studios finds the act writing their most collaborative material to date — with the album thematically focusing outward, expressing disillusionment and frustration with capitalism, climate denial and the UK’s inability to take responsibility for its colonial past. Additionally, the album touches upon polyamory and the burden of toxic masculinity.
“The Greatest Escape” Faulty at Source’s second and latest single finds the act deftly balancing minimalist textures with a cinematic and euphoric bombast — and in a way that manages to recall OK Computer and Amnesiac-era Radiohead and A Rush of Blood to the Head-era Coldplay, thanks to an expansive and hypnotic song structure. But at its core is an achingly plaintive yearning.
“We found ourselves playing with minimalist textures in what feels like a new musical direction for us,” the band’s Liam O’Connell explains in press notes. “Lyricly [sic] it takes a look at the patriarchy, where ‘strong men don’t cry,’ instead we suppress emotions and vulnerability. I find myself yearning to step out of this paradigm, to become free to express the softness and vulnerabilities, that could be ‘the greatest escape on Earth.'”
Co-directed by by Liam O’Connell and Harrison James, the recently released video for “The Greatest Escape” is an anxious and uneasy fever dream that features the trio in hazmat suits superimposed and edited into a variety of urban settings. It’s trippy and nightmarish in a way that evokes our current Kafka-esque hell.