Anathema to release new studio album “The Optimist” on June 9th 2017

Anathema The Optimist cover
After Anathema’s 2012 award-winning album “Weather Systems” and 2014’s spellbinding “Distant Satellites”, the ambient rockers are back with their eleventh full-length, “The Optimist”.

Due for release on June 9th, 2017, through Kscope “The Optimist” will soon reveal some of the darkest, most challenging and unexpected music the sextet have put their name to.

Anathema, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and drummer/keyboardist Daniel Cardoso began recording “The Optimist” in the winter of 2016 at Attica Audio in Donegal, Ireland and then finished at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals) at the helm.

Vincent elaborates on Doogan’s influence on the recording process: “He suggested that we record as a live band, which we hadn’t done for years. Having played a few tunes on the last tour, we were ready for that. Tony wanted to capture that energy you can only get with everyone facing each other… it makes a big difference. He was a superb guy to work with and I learned a lot making this record”...

The idea for “The Optimist” was born from the front cover artwork of the band’s 2001 album “A Fine Day to Exit”.

Daniel Cavanagh explains: “I suppose you might say the album is semi-autobiographical because this time we used a surrogate”; he says, of the character that is “The Optimist”: “We put sound, feelings and crucially, our own hopes and fears into another person and made him the subject of the songs then weaving my own internal monologue into the narrative of "The Optimist". It was John’s idea to write a narrative, so I took "A Fine Day to Exit" as the starting point”.

Vincent elaborates further on the earlier album’s artwork influence: “The guy who disappeared – you never knew what happened to him, did he start a new life? Did he succumb to his fate? It was never explained. The opening track title is the exact coordinates for Silver Strand beach in San Diego – the last known location of "The Optimist" – shown on the cover of "A Fine Day to Exit"”.

To continue the theme further, the band brought back designer and illustrator Travis Smith to create the artwork for “The Optimist”. The artwork was created from a series of photographs Smith took on a West Coast road trip.

With the character’s unresolved destiny the three song writing members, meticulously brought the unfinished story to an end – and most strikingly of all – one which is decided by the listener.

1. 32.63n 117.14w
2. Leaving It Behind
3. Endless Ways
4. The Optimist
5. San Francisco
6. Springfield
7. Ghosts
8. Can't Let Go
9. Close Your Eyes
10. Wildfires
11. Back to the Start

Pre-order the album here.

Says Daniel Cavanagh about the new track “Springfield”: “Here we present the song "Springfield", it’s actually the song that closed our unforgettable Wembley gig with Opeth and it seemed to be a track that just fell into place without much effort. It seemed to do itself. The song forms part of a narrative that runs through "The Optimist" album, it’s a narrative that begins where "A Fine Day to Exit" left off. The album is a journey. The songs are ambiguous. There is no right or wrong way to take them. Make of them what you will”.

Anathema have also announced a headlining European Tour with Alcest. See all dates below.

European Tour Dates 2017:
23.09 - Belfast, Limelight 2 - UK
24.09 - Dublin, Academy - IE
02.10 - Reims, La Cartonnerie - FR
03.10 - Rennes, L'Etage - FR
04.10 - Paris, Le Bataclan - FR
05.10 - Lille, L'Aéronef - FR
06.10 - Tilburg, 013 - NL
08.10 - La Rochelle, La Sirène - FR
10.10 - Bordeaux, Rock School Barbey - FR
11.10 - Toulouse, Le Metronum - FR
14.10 - Nimes, Paloma - FR
15.10 - Lyon, Le Radiant - FR
16.10 - Milan, Alcatraz - IT
18.10 - Pratteln, Z7 Konzertfabrik - CH
19.10 - Stuttgart, LKA Longhorn - DE
20.10 - Munich, Backstage Werk - DE
21.10 - Vienna, Simm City - AT
22.10 - Ljubljana, Kino Šiška - SI
24.10 - Bucharest, Arenele Romane - RO
25.10 - Sofia, Orpheus Studio - BG
27.10 - Budapest, Dürer Kert - HU
28.10 - Prague, Lucerna Music Bar - CZ
29.10 - Frankfurt, Batschkapp - DE
31.10 - Berlin, Astra - DE
01.11 - Hamburg, Uebel & Gefährlich - DE
03.11 - Malmö, Kulturbolaget - SE
05.11 - Oslo, Rockefeller - NO
06.11 - Stockholm, Kagelbanan - SE
08.11 - Tampere, Klubi - FI
09.11 - Helsinki, The Circus - FI
10.11 - Tallinn, Rock Café - EE
12.11 - Warsaw, Progresja Music Zone - PL
13.11 - Gdańsk, Stary Maneż - PL
14.11 - Poznań, MTP2 - PL
15.11 - Erfurt, HSD - DE
16.11 - Cologne, Live Music Hall - DE
18.11 - Luxembourg, Kulturfabrik - LU