Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Mysterines | Afraid Of Tomorrows

Albums Of The Week: The Mysterines | Afraid Of Tomorrows

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Mysterines’ new album Afraid Of Tomorrows is the U.K. alt-rock band’s followup to their critically acclaimed Top 10 debut album Reeling.

Produced by Grammy winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen) in L.A., Afraid Of Tomorrows is a deeper, darker foray into The Mysterines’ psyche than its predecessor, and reflects the maturity and growth of the band — singer-guitarist Lia Metcalfe, bassist George Favager, guitarist Callum Thompson and drummer Paul Crilly. “Afraid of Tomorrows is a mirror where you find you’re nothing more than a formless being, one made from celestial constellations — of traumas, of the old and new, mistakes, addiction, fear and happiness, loneliness, but ultimately a desire for life and the fight to keep living,” says Lia. “It’s a collage of what’s been lost and of love unbounded.”

When it comes to pivotal life moments, having the mighty Nick Cave snatch a balloon out of your hands when you’re seven years old before smirkingly stomping on it is going to make you do one of two things: 1) Run off crying and forever commit to a quiet life, or 2) Decide to be just like the big, tall man who gets a kick out of scaring little kids. When it happened to Metcalfe, she wisely decided to do the latter.

Photo by Steve Gullick.

While still in her 20s, The Mysterines’ imposing frontwoman melds together more than her lifetime’s worth of experiences with the kind of deep, impassioned vocal you won’t forget in a hurry. In her songs and stagecraft, you’ll see and hear everything from PJ Harvey’s raw and ragged stomp to the crazed carnival energy of Tom Waits and eviscerating poetics of Patti Smith. The first great British rock band of the post-pandemic era, The Mysterines let us in on Lia’s unfiltered look at life, the universe and everything, complete with serious riffs and an unflinching honesty.

The rest of The Mysterines coalesced around Lia. She met bassist Favager, standing outside Home Bargains when she was 14. Guitarist Thompson and drummer Crilly she met a few years later at a Psychedelic Porn Crumpets gig in Liverpool. She’d forgotten her ID and the bar refused to serve her. Callum helped her out by offering Lia a warm can of beer from out of his backpack. The rest, of course, is history.

The Mysterines’ debut Reeling — released in March 2022 — was made under the watchful eye of acclaimed producer Catherine Marks (Wolf Alice, PJ Harvey). Going back and forth from her West London studio, Assault and Battery, over three weeks in between lockdowns, it was recorded live to capture the intensity of the songs. Grief, self-destruction, and heartache run through the record, but all are brought together by the blackest of humor.

The Mysterines have been achieving remarkable success since the release of Reeling, including a TV appearance on Jools Holland (which Lia herself predicted as a teenager), two tours of the U.K., two of North America and one in the EU. Summer 2023 saw them tour with their personal heroes Arctic Monkeys across U.K. stadiums.”