Just watch the music video for ‘Adore’. That’s all it takes. The band sit in highly-stylised poses, Jehnny Beth’s eyes keep flitting to the left, hands creep around their necks and try to strangle them. Every note of ‘Adore’ is delivered with the steely gaze of Beth as she asks ‘Is it human to adore life’ and proclaims ‘I understand the urgency of life’. The words ‘adore’ and ‘life’ are repeated as they rail against whatever any post-punk stereotype assumes Savages have a thing for heartbreak and death. This is a song about celebrating life in the face of death and the way Savages express it instrumentally and lyrically is breathtakingly beautiful.
The track premiered live in New York back last January and hasn’t changed too much since, but comparing it to fuzzy live recordings, it sounds like Beth is singing right into your ear and Ayşe Hassan’s bassline which once again takes centrestage on the bridge, when it breaks down to Beth’s vocal and that bass thuds in, thick and heavy but not as oppressive as their fast-paced single ‘The Answer’. From there the track is rebuilt, with Fay Milton’s drums steadily growing in the background and ambient twinkling contrasts the aggression that swirls around Beth’s vocal. The cut-off at the end of the track is so tempting, because we all know Savages can go harder, faster and more experimental, but they break it off just right. Savages get more exciting with every song they release.