NEWS : MON, JUN 24, 2024 at 6:00 AM

Naima Bock’s Below a Massive Dark Land Out Sept. 27th

On September 27th, Naima Bock will release Below a Massive Dark Land worldwide through Sub Pop and Memorials of Distinction. Her second album, Below… comes as the follow up to Giant Palm, one of 2022’s most critically acclaimed debuts. Along with the album announcement Naima has shared the video for the lead single ‘Kaley’ (directed by Cassidy Hansen) and the animated visualizer accompanying single ‘Further Away’ (directed by Gaia Alari).
Speaking of the tracks, Naima says:
 “Kaley was written whilst staying at a friend’s house in Tucson, or at least it was finished there. It’s about betrayal and the subsequent lack of direction that follows. At the time there was no ‘plan’ or ‘way’ that I had for myself, let alone anyone else.”
“‘Further Away’ was written in Greece whilst trying to learn mini Bouzouki and missing someone.”
‘Kaley”’ feels fresh and surprising in its rug-pull choppiness but is distinctly Naima in its swinging, jubilant choruses. Meanwhile, from its humble beginnings, ‘Further Away’ is fleshed out just enough while drawing you irresistibly near in its simplicity.
The success of Naima’s debut, Giant Palm, led to a mammoth period of touring. With headline tours including London’s EartH and support shows for artists such as A. Savage, J Mascis, Squid, Rodrigo Amarante, Arab Strap, Katy J Pearson, This is the Kit, and more, Naima’s feet have hardly touched the ground since 2022.
Today, fresh off the back of a solo tour with Porridge Radio’s Dana Margolin, Naima has also announced international tour dates for the summer and autumn of 2024 to support Below a Massive Dark Land.
They begin Wednesday, August 14th in St. Malo, France at La Route Du Rock and currently end Friday, December 13th in Paris at La Boule Noire. Along the way, Naima will perform solo (August 22nd, September 9th-15th), as a duo with Oliver Hamilton (August 14th and November 6th), and with a four-piece band (November 7th-December 13th). Please find the dates below.
Wed. Aug. 14 - St. Malo, FR - La Route Du Rock +
Thu. Aug. 22 - Los Angeles, CA - Barnsdall Gallery Theatre ^
Sat. Aug. 24 -  Ojai, CA - TBA
Sun. Sep. 08 - Portland, OR - Music Millennium (instore)
Fri. Sep. 13 - Walla Walla, WA - Billsville West
Sun. Sep. 15 - Seattle, WA - The Rabbit Box
Mon. Oct. 21 - Boston, MA - Warehouse XI
Wed. Oct. 23 - Philadelphia, PA - The Parish Room (First Unitarian Church 
Fri. Oct. 25 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
Wed. Nov. 06 - London, UK - St. Pancras Old Church +
Thu. Nov. 07 - Bristol, UK - Jam Jar *
Fri. Nov. 08 - Liverpool, UK - Leaf *
Sat. Nov. 09 - Newcastle, UK - Cumberland Arms *
Sun. Nov. 10 - Glasgow, UK - McChuills *
Tue. Nov. 12 - Leeds, UK - Hyde Park Book Club *
Wed. Nov. 13 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute *
Thu. Nov. 14 - Cambridge, UK - Storey’s Field Centre *
Sat. Nov. 16 - Falmouth, UK - The Cornish Bank *
Sun. Nov. 17 - Frome, UK  - The Tree House *
Mon. Nov. 18 - Exeter, UK - Cavern Club *
Wed. Nov. 20 - Ipswich, UK - St Stephens Church *
Thu. Nov. 21 - London, UK - The Ivy House *
Tue. Dec. 03 - Lille, FR - L ‘Aéronef *
Wed. Dec. 04 - Brugge, BE - Cactus Café *
Fri. Dec. 06 - Haldern, DE - Pop Bar *
Sat. Dec. 07 - Hamburg, DE - Nachstasyl *
Sun. Dec. 08 - Berlin, DE - Neu Zunkunft *
Tue. Dec. 10 - Cologne, DE - Subway *
Wed. Dec. 11 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso *
Thu. Dec. 12 - Brussels, BE -  Botanique *
Fri. Dec. 13 - Paris, FR - La Boule Noire *
^ w/ Angelo De Augustine
* Full band show
+ Duo with Oliver Hamilton
Below a Massive Dark Land was predominantly produced by Jack Osborne (Bingo Fury) and Joe Jones, and recorded at The Crypt in north London, with additional production and arrangement by Oliver Hamilton (caroline, Shovel Dance Collective) and Naima herself. Six of the tracks on Below… were mixed by Jason Agel, with the remainder done by Osborne and Jones. The album was mastered by Kevin Tuffy.
Below a Massive Dark Land will be available on CD/LP/DSPs and is available now for preorder from Sub Pop/Memorials of Distinction. LP preorders from (North America), Mega Mart 2 (UK/EU), and independent retailers worldwide will receive the limited Loser edition vinyl on Blue Jay (US) and the eco-friendly Yellow Bio (UK/EU) (All whilst stock lasts!). Naima also created the art for the Below… album cover.
More on Naima Bock’s Below a Massive Dark Land:
Most of the writing of Naima Bock’s second album, Below a Massive Dark Land, was a solitary affair. It may not sound it – it’s made up of strong, purposeful arrangements with a huge host of musicians; filled with cradling space and warm light. This will also come as a surprise to anyone who has seen Naima perform in the time since the release of her 2022 debut Giant Palm, undoubtedly a communal experience.
With a band of ten, three, or even just solo, when Naima plays there’s a rare bond between the musicians on stage and the audience. In their interview with her, The Quietus declared “after every song the applause and cheering is immense, so immense in fact that it seems to be coming from a different place than the usual formalities of a live show, a link between performer and artist forged somewhere deeper and more personal.”
It was in Giant Palm’s music too, a record that sweeps and swells, a chorus of voices and instrumentation that rises and falls as one alongside Naima’s own somersaulting voice.
It’s true though, most of Below…’s songs started life very simply; Naima alone, living in her grandmother’s shed in South London, writing just with her voice, guitar and violin. She’s no violin virtuoso but had taken it up as a songwriting exercise for its ability to draw melodies from her – a trick that undoubtedly worked, these are songs that drift into the back of your mind and settle there like fallen leaves, songs you wake up singing. The remainder was written on the road after those moments of audience connection, in the quiet that follows.
There’s power in the solitary, too. Giant Palm was arranged with collaborator Joel Burton, but going it alone in search of something truly hers, Naima found she was capable of more. “After me and Joel stopped working together,” she remembers, “it was an impossibility to even fathom doing arrangements myself, but then I started learning violin. Playing it isn’t easy but writing melodies on it is”. Finding that she could go it alone was incredibly powerful for Naima, “I think I needed it, to be able to feel proud of something. Like, that’s me! That feels good.”
Once that writing portion is over, though, this ends. The record is not a stark, stripped-back affair. Below… still has that majesty that made Giant Palm so remarkable. Tugging the first record down from the skies and spreading it across the earth; there’s a newfound vocal power and confidence born from hundreds of hours on stage, and the music sounds fuller, more tangible, but no less enveloping.
This can be found in Below a Massive Dark Land’s singles. ‘Kaley’ feels fresh and surprising in its rug-pull choppiness but is distinctly Naima in its swinging, jubilant choruses. The accompanying “Further Away” takes a different tack, drawing you irresistibly near in its simplicity. Finally, the hazy, luxurious beauty of ‘Feed My Release’ draws on the sepia-toned traditions of The Roches, John Prine, and Loudon Wainwright III but imbues them with the kind of stark confessional songwriting of Mount Eerie. Lyrically reaching deeper and darker than Giant Palm, these are ambitious, rich arrangements.
Past Praise For Naima Bock Giant Palm:
“Exquisite solo debut” - ★★★★ MOJO
“Quiet, melancholy and occasionally divinely uplifting (8/10)” - Uncut
“A real gem..” (“Album of the Week”) - Stereogum
“A sharply observed, sumptuously arranged album of
idiosyncratic folk.” - Pitchfork
quietly dazzling….” - Brooklyn Vegan
“Hugely ambitious” (“Music of the Month”) - The Quietus
“…exquisite. A truly special listen” (8/10) - CLASH
★★★★ - DIY
“a stellar debut (8/10)” - The Line of Best Fit
“…an often brilliant debut” ★★★★ - All Music
“The fusion of her disparate cultural influences makes for an enchanting sound entirely Bock’s own.”
[“Giant Palm”] - New York Times

Naima Bock
Below A Massive Dark Land
1. Gentle
2. Kaley
3. Feed My Release
4. My Sweet Body
5. Lines
6. Further Away
7. Takes One
8. Age
9. Moving
10. Star

Posted by Abbie Gobeli