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Albums Of The Week: Biffy Clyro | The Myth Of The Happily Ever After

With the optimist hopes of 2020's A Celebration of Endings dashed, the Scottish indie rockers regroup for a darkly catharic followup fueled by loss & frustration.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The followup to their internationally acclaimed album A Celebration of Endings, Biffy Clyro’s ninth album The Myth Of The Happily Ever After — which serves as both a reaction and a complement to its predecessor — is a homegrown project that represents a rapid emotional response to the turmoil of the past year.

About the forthcoming project, singer-guitarist Simon Neil explains, “This album is a real journey, a collision of every thought and emotion we’ve had over the past eighteen months. There was a real fortitude in A Celebration, but in this record we’re embracing the vulnerabilities of being a band and being a human in this twisted era of our lives. Even the title is the polar opposite. It’s asking, do we create these narratives in our own minds to give us some security when none of us know what’s waiting for us at the end of the day?”

Grounded by lockdown, Biffy Clyro recorded the project in a completely different way than the ordinary, recording for just six weeks in their rehearsal room (converted DIY-style into a fully functional studio by rhythm section brothers James and Ben Johnston) in a farmhouse closer to their homes. The trio went in with the intention of completing some unfinished songs from their last record but instead The Myth Of The Happily Ever After took over as it started to take shape in late 2020, with everything written and recorded within a 10-mile radius. Traditionally, 90% of Biffy songs have been written in Scotland before the band head to London or Los Angeles for recording, but this represented the first time they’ve ever recorded in their homeland.

The Myth Of The Happily Ever After is the yin to the yang of A Celebration; the other side of a coin; a before-and-after comparison. On these 11 songs, their early optimism of 2020 has been brought back to earth with a resounding thud. It’s the product of a strange and cruel time in our lives, but one that ultimately reinvigorated Biffy Clyro.

“When you lose people that you love deeply and have been a big part of your life, it can make you question every single thing about your own life,” Neil says. “Like a lot of creative people, I struggle with dark thoughts. If you’re that way inclined you realise you’re staring at darkness, but you don’t want to succumb. Those moments don’t stop. As the song says, ‘The devil never leaves.’ There’s never a day where you wake up thinking, ‘I feel great, it won’t cross me ever again.’ ”