Stockholm trio, Normandie, have released “Ritual”, the latest single from their forthcoming new album, Dopamine, set for a February 9th, 2024 release on Easy Life Records.
“Ritual” follows the recent singles, “Flowers For The Grave”, “Blood In The Water” and “Hourglass”, in-keeping with the band’s ‘Dopamine Clinic’, which sees new songs being ‘prescribed’ on the first of every month leading up to the album release.
“Until death do us part”, but what about after that? “Ritual is a song about falling for someone and wanting to promise more than just the time here on earth,” says frontman Philip Strand. “But also the afterlife. An eternal vow, written in blood, like a ritualistic wedding. Connecting to the storyline of the upcoming album, “Ritual” is about Neurotransmitters and how we overuse them, about oxytocin and the enormous power of the human touch.”
Set in a not-too-distant and – crucially – not-at-all-unrealistic future, Normandie’s fourth album, Dopamine, finds the band asking two unsettling questions: what if we pushed our brains and bodies far beyond their limits?
And what if we already are?
On their follow-up to 2021’s ‘Dark & Beautiful Secrets’, Philip, Håkan (Almbladh – guitar) and Anton (Franzon – drums) tackle the overstimulation of modern life head-on, and answer some hefty questions with some even bigger songs to produce a devastating, clinical example of everything a modern rock band should be.
“The whole album is about the chase for different highs and natural chemicals: oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, adrenaline…” starts Philip.
“What if dopamine had to be clinically provided because we’ve burned through our receptors?”
“Making this album futuristic and dystopian came very naturally when we started discussing the current state of the world. We’re all on overdrive. We’re upping the stakes all the time, and everybody has a higher tolerance now for stress in a way that nobody saw coming,” he explains.
“Back in the old days you were sowing potatoes and that was your one goal for the day – we were hunter-gatherers and we were just there to provide for our families. Today, we have so many things going on. We’re taught to chase our dreams, but chasing something in the future means you might miss the moment.”
Dopamine chronicles a different type of disorder to the band’s previous album, which took a deep, dark dive into Philip’ religious upbringing and its aftereffects. This time around, the band looked around at their present, and imagined what a fictional, hellish future might look like, rather than dwelling on the past.
In this future, swathes of society have burned out their neurotransmitters and have to take their dopamine in the same way we do today with caffeine, like that hit of morning coffee that makes you feel human again. But this time, dopamine isn’t used as a stimulant. It’s just what we take to get through the day.
What makes Dopamine feel even more vital is that it’s a futuristic, dynamic rock album that even with everything gestures wildly happening within, is clearly made by actual people, with all of their humanity and contradictions laid bare.
Welcome to the Dopamine Clinic. 🙂