Soft Machine announce new album Hidden Details

Soft Machine - Hidden Details

1. Hidden Details
2. The Man Who Waved At Trains
3. Ground Lift
4. Heart Off Guard
5. Broken Hill
6. Flight Of the Jett
7. One Glove
8. Out Bloody Intro
9. Out Bloody Rageous (Part 1)
10. Drifting White
11. Life On Bridges
12. Fourteen Hour Dream
13. Breathe

Soft Machine have announced that they’ll release their new studio album later this year.

It’s titled Hidden Details, with John Etheridge, Theo Travis, Roy Babbington and John Marshall launching the record on September 7.

It was recorded at the late Jon Hiseman’s Temple Studio in Surrey, England, last December, with journalist and writer Sid Smith reporting that the album is “very much the product of an active, contemporary sounding outfit striking out with its own agenda.”

Smith adds: “Though informed by the past, the music here is neither weighed down nor beholden to it. Animated with the same ineffable and inquisitive spirit that has always made this group throughout its 50 years such a compelling experience, it’s good to have a new Soft Machine with us in 2018. 

“The yearning tenderness of Heart Off Guard and the come-down reveries of Broken Hill and Drifting White showcase the more intimate aspects of Soft Machine's personality while in contrast, One Glove gives the more pugilistic side of John Etheridge's playing an outing. 

“The terse angularities of the title track and Life On Bridges highlight a fearless disposition, as does the buzzsaw interplay heard during Ground Lift and Flight Of The Jett, both featuring Roy Babbington's decisive interventions. 

Smith continues: “The surging lyricism of Fourteen Hour Dream flirts with an almost popish sensibility, underscoring the sense that this is a quartet that is fundamentally at ease with itself. The return of what some older fans of the band have called 'cosmic tinkles' – the appearance of layers of cyclical electric piano motifs – is especially welcome. 

“Their brief manifestation on The Man Who Waved At Trains and Third-era, Out-Bloody-Rageous, both stone-cold Mike Ratledge-composed classics, adds an extra spacey dimension to the overall sound.”

Smith adds: “Travis' use of looping technology with his flutes creates its own beguiling world and can be heard to powerful effect on the beautiful and enigmatic Breathe, where his hovering notes are underpinned by Marshall's oblique yet atmospheric percussion.”

Soft Machine recently played their first shows in North America since 1974 and will head out on tour again later this month, with dates planned in Japan, Europe, the US, Canada and the UK.


Soft Machine - Hidden Details
John Etheridge, Theo Travis, Roy Babbington and John Marshall's new album Hidden Details contains a total of 13 tracks – and is backed by an extensive run of live shows across the world.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

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.