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There Is No Year

by Algiers

supported by
Paolo Murgia
Paolo Murgia thumbnail
Paolo Murgia Amazing album I'm listening since january. Probably will end in my personal best 5 of 2020. Not a single track is weak. And Album title of the year, almost a prophecy. Favorite track: Nothing Bloomed.
discoinfernal thumbnail
discoinfernal I'll admit, this took quite a few listens to really sink in with me. It's a much denser and less immediate album than Underside of Power or their debut. Still, it's probably grown on me more than any album released in 2020. Like the soul punk soundtrack to a classic John Carpenter film. I'll be surprised if it doesn't become a sleeper hit over the next few years for the album title alone. Favorite track: Repeating Night.
Daniel Tuttle
Daniel Tuttle thumbnail
Daniel Tuttle This ended up being one of my favorite albums of 2020, but what an intense album to drop right before the world burned.
Lachan Simpson
Lachan Simpson thumbnail
Lachan Simpson Smart, angry, soul. What's not to like?
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Unoccupied 03:06
Chaka 03:52


In the FBI file on the American rock ‘n’ roll band Algiers—which given their prior penchant for repping the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, and Afeni Shakur, among others, surely exists—under the subheading for their third album, There is No Year, the intelligence should soon read: all prior analytics appear outdated… this undoes everything we thought we knew about their intentions…what hides inside them… as if they are mutating live on camera, between frames…

Indeed, even those aware of the ideals of this outspoken four-piece will find their latest direction traversing unprecedented ground. Coming off two years of nonstop world-touring for their critically acclaimed second album, The Underside of Power—including Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the Balkans, where they have established a rabid following; an extended stint opening for Depeche Mode in huge stadiums such as the 75,000-capacity Olympiastadion in Berlin; as well as Glastonbury 2019—There is No Year solidifies and expands upon the doom-laden soul of their foundation, toward an even more epic, genre-reformatting sound, one somehow suspended in the amber of “a different era,” as described by guitarist Lee Tesche.

From the instant synth-pulse of the opening seconds of There is No Year, it’s clear that Algiers have set out to stake new ground, internally as much as sonically. At the forefront of this evolution is the centrality of power housed in Algiers’ multi-instrumentalist lead vocalist, Franklin James Fisher, whose voice and words provide the backbone of the album, his lyrics sourced entirely from an epic poem, “Misophonia,” composed during his search for meaning amidst a protracted personal period of anxiety and lack.

“What I wanted to do is create a negative space wherein I can exist and engage but at the same time not be so exposed,” Fisher explains. He speaks of the record’s perspective as not only a political apparatus, but an intimate, responsive evocation of his understanding that “nothing is ever what you expect”, that what might seem for now to be well known or assured is not always so, that there is no safety net. The effect, as felt on the record, is undeniable: Fisher sounds like he is singing for his life—for all our lives, really—baring his soul while the walls disintegrate around us.

The pool that he draws on is at once penetrating and exhilarating, wielding its anguish like a mirror at Medusa, full of hell. Whether he is lilting over post-Lynchian synth-whorl like a spot-lit bandleader, as on “Unoccupied,” or reincarnating the spirit of thrumming 80s R&B into a proto-no wave dancefloor classic straight from 2046, as on “Chaka,” there is a tangible emotional electricity to Fisher’s delivery, a personal valence that makes you want, more than anything, to believe, even while not quite knowing where we’re headed.

No less next-level in Algiers’ conception is the ambition of the aural architecture they manage to summon. Under the direction of producers Randall Dunn [Sunn O))), Earth] and Ben Greenberg [Zs, Uniform (as featured on Twin Peaks season 3)], the same exciting duo who first teamed up on Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Mandy soundtrack in 2018, the clearly studied composition of this new horizon finds an outlet for turmoil via a fascinating synthesis of styles— There Is No Year encompasses future-minded post-punk R&B from the trapped heart of ATL, where they began; to industrial soundscapes à la 4AD-era Scott Walker or Iggy & Bowie’s Berlin period; to something like the synthetic son of Marvin Gaye and Fever Ray. The whip-tight rhythm section of Ryan Mahan and Matt Tong (ex-Bloc Party) moves back and forth from infectious menace to sci-fi soundtrack to big band fever dream, seamlessly syncing fresh continuity. Mahan’s beat programming and synth constructions fill out the fibrous threshold, while Tesche’s sound-sleeves and aural-layering shapeshift into a richly polished means of exploration, revealing more and more the deeper you delve.

“This is the sowing / Of the whirlwind,” Fisher sings on “Repeating Night.” “Don’t forget it’s us against them.” There’s something more behind the curtain of our daily-headlined pain, the album’s title seems to suggest—something even larger at stake than rage, or even revolution; which is exactly what Algiers’ music appears to have resolved itself to channel, and to wield. Their essence on There is No Year is a statement of their defiance, their desire to feel and be human even beyond the necessary fight back, sprawling head-on into the burning wind of doubt and fear and all it’s claimed, arriving on the far side of calamity more alive than ever.

- Blake Butler


released January 17, 2020

Algiers is Franklin James Fisher, Ryan Mahan, Lee Tesche, and Matt Tong.

Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, programming, piano, synthesizers, percussion, sheet metal, prepared instruments and eight-stringed oddities by Algiers.

Additional programming and MPC 2000 by Ben Greenberg; Additional programming, modular synth, percussion and sound design, Korg MS-20, Modal 001, Ensoniq ESQ-1 by Randall Dunn; Saxophones by Skerik on 1, 4, 6; Additional vocals provided by Kyle Kidd and LaToya Kent on 2; Vocal sounds by Lou the Dog on 8.

Produced by Randall Dunn and Ben Greenberg during April and May of 2019 at Figure 8 (NYC), Mixed by Randall Dunn at Strange Weather (NYC), Mix Assistant Garrett DeBlock, Mastered by Jason Ward.

All songs written and performed by Algiers
Art Direction and Design by Farbod Kokabi
Management by Al Sundvall.

Everything else by Tristan Griffin.

Thank you to everyone else who has helped us along the way and especially during this process.


all rights reserved




Algiers is a band of musicians born in Atlanta, Georgia, the rotten hub of the Ol’ American South, where W.E.B. Dubois once saw a riot goin’ on, and where the hell and highwater swirls ‘round to the knees.


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