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Albums Of The Week: Thot | Delta

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A band existing in constant flux, Belgian industrial, post-rock collective Thot seem to thrive in the tumult of modern life. Delta, their fourth full-length and first long form release since 2017’s breathtaking Fleuve, is an ambitious musical melting pot of the people, places, spaces and times that have helped define the band to date.

Like so many projects begun in and around 2019, Delta was derailed by the pandemic, with the first iteration of the album scrapped entirely due to creative differences amplified by enforced social distancing. Band leader and principal songwriter Grégoire Fray, born in France but based in Belgium, found himself back at the beginning; now questioning his identity as an artist in the wake of global catastrophe.

Channelling his despondency through Thot’s playful twist on chronological time, this crisis of faith became the catalyst for Delta’s new shape. Fray found himself returning to the old recurring question of why he never sang in his mother tongue. Previously frustrated by its incompatibility with the Anglo-American guitar music he loved, Grégoire now found himself intrigued by his French’s fluidity when paired alongside English lyrics too.

Written, arranged, recorded and documented between late 2019 and 2023 by Fray alongside Thot collaborators Lukas Melville, Gil Chevingné, Stéphane Fedele, Anaïs Elba, Michael Thiel and Juliette Mauduit; Delta is as much a product of the band’s past as it is their present, also featuring a true collaboration with the women of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, an iconic Bulgarian traditional polyphonic choir previously sampled by Thot as well as the voice of award-winning Czech singer-songwriter Lenka Dusilová, whom Fray met by chance through friends on the road. The album is a shifting collage of people, places, past and present, all stirred by Thot’s renowned grasp of cinematic, post-rock dynamics and cold-wave electronic orchestration.

Lead single Supercluster was the last track written for the record and sees the band embracing the confusion of a world turned upside down. A driving, bass-heavy adrenaline rush of French and English at first feels bewildering but, as Grégoire says, “Supercluster represents a Covid supercluster just like it represents a galactic supercluster. A scale ranging from microscopic to monolithic like this makes us realise that whatever we’re wrestling with, whether it’s ourselves or each other, is ultimately insignificant and immaterial. Enjoy life, enjoy the ride.”

Boundary-breaking by nature, Thot will also be releasing a series of narratively interlinked videos alongside singles from the record featuring some of the faces and places that helped bring Delta into being, as well as characters and tales that have emerged from the creative process itself. True to form, there is no guarantee that these videos will be released in chronological order. The band want their audience to shape the story, to become part of the story themselves.

In some ways, Delta already is everyone’s story; a powerful, post-rock document of hope and perseverance against all odds, a narrative that has been shaped by so many people around the world.”