Anathema detail new album The Optimist


Anathema have released further details about their upcoming album The Optimist.

It’ll be released on June 9 via Kscope and will be the follow-up to 2014’s Distant Satellites.

Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and keyboardist Daniel Cardos recorded The Optimist over the winter with producer Tony Doogan. And Vincent says that Doogan’s influence on the album was invaluable.

He says: “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.”

Daniel Cavanagh says the idea behind The Optimist came from the cover art for their 2001 album A Fine Day To Exit.

He says: “I suppose you might say the album is semi-autobiographical because this time we used a surrogate.

“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 Douglas’ idea to write a narrative, so I took A Fine Day To Exit as the starting point.”

Vincent adds: “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.”

See the cover art, tracklist and a teaser trailer for The Optimist below, along with a list of Anathema’s 2017 tour dates.

Anathema The Optimist tracklist

  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

Anathema 2017 tour dates

Jun 08: Moscow Yotaspace, Russia
Jun 09: St Petersburg ClubZal, Russia
Jun 11: Download Fetival, UK
Jun 16: Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium
Jun 23: Nijmegen Doornroosje, Netherlands
Jun 24: Valkenburg Midsummer Prog Festival, Netherlands
Jul 01: Barcelona Be Prog My Friend Festival, Spain
Jul 02: Athens Rock Wave Festival, Greece
Aug 03: Monterrey Café Iguana, Mexico
Aug 04: Guadalajara C3 Stage, Mexico
Aug 05: Mexico City El Plaza Condesa, Mexico
Aug 07: Bogota Teatro Ecci, Columbia
Aug 09: Santiago Teatro Cariola, Chile
Aug 11: Buenos Aires Groove, Argentina
Aug 12: Sao Paolo Carioca Cluba, Brazil
Sep 23: Belfast Limelight 2, UK
Sep 24: Dublin Academy, Ireland

Anathema - Weather Systems/Universal Album Review

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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.