Albatross, the first single from Wild Beasts' third album, Smother, sees the band tone down the idiosyncrasies that blighted their debut and enhanced much of its follow-up, Two Dancers. Unlike most opening singles from an anticipated album, Albatross doesn't reveal its charms instantly, preferring instead to drift in on a fairly downbeat verse before the heartbreaking chorus chimes in with sighing despondency. For the video they've gone for symbolic imagery involving giant moths, falling feathers, modern dance and all four members of the band sat by a table lamp (whatever it is they're sat in front of, singer Hayden Thorpe seems unable to look at it). Albatross is a subtly spectacular sign of what's to come from a band seemingly nearing their peak.
New music: Wild Beasts – Albatross
is a music writer for the Guardian and Observer as well as contributing
to i-D, Fader and Q. He's also the editor of BEAT magazine.