Burial – Truant / Rough Sleeper (single) (Hyperdub)


Rejoice! It looks like Christmas has come early in the form of an unexpected brand-new single from London electronic artist, Burial.

“Truant / Rough Sleeper” follows the brilliant ‘Kindred’ EP released back in February 2012. If you’ve heard the ‘Kindred’ EP, 2008’s Mercury Prize nominated album ‘Untrue’, or the 2006  self-titled debut album, you’ll know what’s in store. Burial’s distinctive and genre-bending mesh of deeply atmospheric, often times explicitly dark, dubstep, ambient, house and 2-step garage are all on show here.

Both “Truant” and  Rough Sleeper” follow the long play format of the ‘Kindred‘ EP with both tracks clocking in at 25 minutes combined.

The opening four minutes of “Truant” revolve around a simple keyboard melody and a soulful vocal singing the hook “I fell in love with you”. Minimalist 2-step beats garage combine with heartbeat like bass thuds to give the song its rhythmic pulse in between frequent but brief stop/starts.

Both melodically and instrumentally simplistic, “Truant” contains all of Burial’s trademark glitches, vinyl crackles, atmospheric breaks, and deep bass pulses, resulting in a cinematic-like journey over the course of its 11 minutes and 47 seconds. After a long atmospheric section made up of what sounds like a field recording of rain, a funky sub-bass line emerges around 10:30, briefly giving the song a danceable groove.

“Rough Sleeper” is much more immediate, up-tempo and cohesive. Led by a church organ and soulful vocal, it is also much hookier than “Truant”.  Equipped with Burial’s signature beat,  “Rough Sleeper” flows steadily, that is of course all usual stops, starts, pauses, and momentary breaks aside.

Not just hookier than “Truant”, “Rough Sleeper” is rhythmically steady and completely danceable. In fact, “Rough Sleeper” is Burial at his finest, combining all the elements that make him one of the most compelling, influential, and innovative electronic artists today.

“Truant / Rough Sleeper” was released on Monday 17 December and is available digitally from the Hyperdub online store.

Though all but a glimpse of the magnificence, you can listen to extended snippets of “Truant” and “Rough Sleeper” on the Hyperdub website.

Provided the link hasn’t been taken down, you can also listen to “Truant” in full below: