It's a slow burner, with an atmospheric introduction ushering in Slothrust singer Leah Wellbaum's haunting vocal before a surprisingly sludgy riff arrives to provide the song with some guts. There's even a more reflective spoken word section (think: that bit in The Orb's Little Fluffy Clouds with the Rickie Lee Jones sample, but without the wibbling keyboards) before Hale takes over at the business end of the song to make the whole thing soar.
"The Next Curse is a song about how even in a time when we see our planet on fire and flooding, we still don't take the time we need to heal ourselves," says Wellbaum. "These circumstances begin to mirror each other in a self-perpetuating cycle.
"It is my desire that humans as a species work toward less violence and more compassion for one another despite differences. I hope we can show this kindness to planet Earth as well and treat her like the magical, generous being she is."
Wellbaum tells Loudwire (opens in new tab) why she sought Hale out to perform on The Next Curse, saying, "She is a performer who exudes light in an authentic and glorious way. As soon as I finished writing this song, I immediately heard her voice on it alongside mine and I am so honoured that she was drawn to it. She is someone who I am proud to sing beside."
For her part, Lzzy Hale says, "Leah Wellbaum is a force of nature. It was an honour and a privilege to be a part of The Next Curse and stand next to her fire. Slothrust is one of my favourite bands, just when you think you know how to properly describe them, they go and toss you into a house of mirrors."
The Next Curse follows the release of Cranium in February, Strange Astrology in April and Once More For The Ocean in June. All four tracks are taken from Slothrust's upcoming fifth album Parallel Timeline, which is due on September 10 and comes wrapped in what might just be the greatest cover art of 2021. Or, indeed, most other years.
Parallel Timeline can be ordered from Bandcamp (opens in new tab).
Slothrust Parallel Timeline Tracklist
Once More for the Ocean
The Next Curse (featuring Lzzy Hale)
King Arthur's Seat
A Giant Swallow