Manchester Orchestra is as Honest and Pensive as They've Ever Been on New 'Black Mile to the Surface' Album

by Flaunt Editorial Staff

Manchester Orchestra recently released their fifth album, A Black Mile to the Surface, following their work on the soundtrack for the film Swiss Army Man. Andy Hull and Daniel McDowell were asked to use only their voices for the soundtrack. Following the release of Cope, which featured crescendos so clunky that they came out with an acoustic remake months later. Andy Hull said A Black Mile to the Surface would be “intensity without the volume.” Perhaps working on Swiss Army Man altered their songwriting, because Manchester Orchestra certainly delivered a complex album.

Surface is primarily about family and balancing the lifelong debate between the significance and insignificance of the self. Their debut album I’m Like A Virgin Losing a Child came out ten years ago, and while their songwriting style has seen different phases, the songs on A Black Mile to the Surface bring what Manchester Orchestra has never failed to deliver: an ever-presenting honesty, meditation on the past, and a powerful encapsulation of painful, life-defining moments. This is, after all, the band who wrote, “I Can Feel a Hot One”—a song about Hull’s nightmare in which his pregnant wife died in a car accident.

A Black Mile to the Surface is available on Spotify now. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.


Written by: Brianna Di Monda