Archive – Hatchet (single) (V2)

London’s Archive, formed by Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths in 1994, may be megastars in Europe but elsewhere it has been a source of frustration and certainly nothing to do with the quality of their music.

Their debut album ‘Londinium’ was released in 1996 and is well regarded as a tri-hop classic. Their third album ‘You All Look The Same To Me’ and 2004’s ‘Noise’ made them superstars across Europe, however contractual problems meant none of these albums received a UK release and the band remained virtually unknown in their own country.

Thankfully with a new record deal in place the band’s latest album, their ninth studio album ‘With Us Until You’re Dead’, was released without any such issues.

Following the success of its first single “Violently” comes the album’s second single, “Hatchet”. Though known to use a variety of vocalists, like “Violently”, Archive again utilize for the supreme vocal talents of vocalist, Holly Martin.

Temporarily abandoning their trademark lush cinematic and orchestral sound, “Hatchet” is driven by an angsty and brilliantly rhythmic vocal line. Instrumentation and the melody derived from it is quite minimalist and instead “Hatchet” relies on the vocal to deliver. Sounds whir and buzz in and out with the only constant being a percussive keyboard arpeggio that runs throughout. As always, Archive expertly combines both acoustic and electronic instruments (drums or bass) to craft their trip-hop landscapes.

Thoroughly engrossing, “Hatchet” may not be the catchiest single you hear this year but it’s certainly every bit as soul-y and emotionally weighty as “Violently”. Just wait for the song’s final 20 seconds where Holly Martin lets fly.

A short and sweet number off a brilliant, stunning and complex album.

The album ‘With Us Until You’re Dead’ was released on 27 August.

Watch the video for “Hatchet” below: