Disappearance, fraud, lies and deceit, they all sit at the heart of John Doe, the upcoming concept album from Mammoth Penguins. The titular John Doe is a fictional character, a man willing to fake his own death to escape his problems. To do this tale justice, the band has teamed up with a host of friends, including Sophie Barkerwood (Haiku Salut) and Joe Bear (Alto 45), to produce the album. That album will be released in October on the wiaiwya label, and marks Mammoth Penguins’ first new material since 2015’s Hide & Seek.
Each track on the album considers John’s disappearance from the point of view of a different person in John’s life. Today we’re premiering The Sailor, based around the view-point of a friend at John’s sailing club, and their struggle to come to terms with his death at sea.
The Sailor builds around the classic propulsive Mammoth Penguin sound, as bouncing bass-lines and driving percussion give the whole thing a flavour of kraut-rock. The synthesisers, courtesy of Joe Bear add some additional textures, while singer Emma Kupa’s impassioned vocals have never sounded stronger. Lyrically it finds the titular sailor questioning his friend’s disappearance, retracing how John retreated from the public eye before repeating the central line, “it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense”.
The Sailor is the first chapter in Mammoth Penguin’s take on this most intriguing of tales. Setting this story to a musical backing was a huge challenge, but one that seems to have brought out the creative side in Mammoth Penguins: John Doe looks set to be one of the year’s most fascinating releases.
John Doe is out October 13th via wiaiwya. Click HERE for more information on Mammoth Penguins.