OMD — aka Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark — are back, and this time, they’re getting political. On Wednesday, the beloved synth-pop pioneers announced their 14th studio album, Bauhaus Staircase, due out October 27th via White Noise. As a preview, they also shared the album’s title track as its first single.
A follow-up to their well-received 2017 album, The Punishment of Luxury, Bauhaus Staircase was forged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and wears the influence of the time period on its sleeve loud and proud. Isolating themselves, OMD’s members dove into their back catalog of unfinished ideas, using them as launching pads to thematically explore the unfolding turmoil of the world.
The lead single, “Bauhaus Staircase,” captures this dynamic, placing lyrics about artistic freedom, 20th century art movements, and “kicking down” fascism in a crescendoing soundscape of drums, synths, and electronic textures. The single also arrived with an animated music video, which you can watch below.
“’Bauhaus Staircase’ is a metaphor for strength and artist passion in the face of criticism and adversity,” OMD’s Andy McCluskey said in a statement. “The title is derived from an Oscar Schlemmer painting. He taught at Bauhaus, and created the amazing futuristic costumes for The Triadic Ballet (referenced in the song). When times are hard there is a tendency for governments to look at cutting funding for creativity, just at the moment when the arts are most needed to nourish our souls. Thus, it seems appropriate that the song and its eponymous album were created during ‘COVID Lockdown.’”
McCluskey also alluded to the possibility that Bauhaus Staircase may be OMD’s final album. That’s not the plan, but if it happens that way, the band is ready. “I’m very happy with what we’ve done on this record,” he said. “I’m comfortable if this is OMD’s last statement.”
Bauhaus Staircase is out on October 27th. Pre-orders are ongoing. In November, the band is set to perform at the inaugural Darker Waves Festival in Huntington Beach, California. Grab your tickets here.
Bauhaus Staircase Artwork:
Bauhaus Staircase Tracklist:
01. Bauhaus Staircase
03. Look at You Now
05. Where We Started
07. Slow Train
08. Don’t Go
10. Aphrodite’s Favorite Child
11. Evolution of Species