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Track-by-track: Boston Manor talk us through ‘Datura’

Blackpool rockers Boston Manor have never been afraid of the dark, so it should come as no surprise that their latest album, Datura, takes place over the course of the solemn hours between dusk and dawn. In support of their fourth full-length offering to date, the British outfit are also gearing up to hit Australian shores in March alongside Southern Californian contemporaries Movements. To help us learn more about the record, frontman Henry Cox was kind enough to talk BLUNT through each track on part one of Datura.

‘Datura (Dusk)’

Technically, ‘Datura’ was the first song that we wrote for the record. It was a poem that I wrote in the pandemic, and it’d been kicking around and I’d done a few different versions of it with just a piano, and a few other things. I didn’t know what to do with it, but I liked it a lot. It felt like an intro and I’d always envisaged it as an intro. We actually printed it in 2020, just down the leg of some joggers, so the lyrics have been kicking around for a while. And then I sent it to the guys and they went away and made this cool sort of Nirvana version, kind of like ‘Something In The Way’, and we took it into the studio. As things often happen, it became a new version of its own…The strings are done in a really cool way. It’s a little nerdy, but it is actually synth that was recorded to four channels and we put ’em to an old tape recorder that had four inputs and a speed wheel. You change the speed wheel, it changes the pitch. So we did all these sliding string sounds, but they’re just four synth notes that are turned into strings by messing with the speed that kind of slides it up and down. It’s a cool track and we wanted to make it go into the second song, so it was all recorded as one track and then split up afterward so it flows into ‘Floodlights on the Square’.

‘Floodlights on the Square’

We knew this was gonna be, I say track one, but you know what I mean. The first big song on the record starts with “it’s all going wrong” as the first lyric, which sets the tone for the album. We were very conscious of this album being linear, so when writing the lyrics, we already knew where it was gonna fit into the album. It all takes place over the course of one night and it all has to kind of have a time. Originally, each song was gonna have a time, and that was gonna be the name of each track, so it’d be like midnight, and then like 2:00 AM, you know what I mean? It starts at dusk, so that’d be what, like 7:00 PM? It depends on what time of year, I suppose. This is when things just start to get dark and the album begins with the floodlights coming on in the town square and it’s nighttime. We wanted to come out all guns blazing and write a really dark track that was really rocky and riffy. It’s such a lame thing to say this, like rock bands talking about riffs, but we were like, “Let’s put some riffs on this record.” We haven’t always done them.


It’s the same thing with ‘Foxglove’. That off-kilter rhythm of the riff came from this dance song called ‘Everything U Need’ by this band Overmono, and it has this kind of polyrhythm all the way through it. It became this meme in our band. I’d put it on all the time in the van or the bus or whatever. And then I just kept waking up with it every day in my head. We were like, “Oh, I wonder if it would be cool to do a guitar version of that into a riff” and it became that track. It’s one of those songs that went through a million different variations, it was two tracks that got welded together to become one. Sometimes they’re the best ones, ’cause you take the best bits of both and squish them together. I think that was the first song we completed properly for the record. It was part of the first recording session that we did. We came away with it and were like, “This is just gonna be a song to make people mosh to.” I’m not ashamed to say that sometimes that’s a motto we have in our band: Writing a track for people to really be able to go crazy live to.


‘Passenger’ was the last song we wrote for the record. We knew there was a time slot in the album missing. We wanted it to be the bit before it’s all gone to shit, in the timeline of the record. We knew we were missing something that was quite upbeat, you know? We didn’t wanna beat people over the head musically with the misery stick too much. We had a few versions of a track like this written, but none of them quite ticked the box. We had sort of a rave track. We were like, “Well you’d be raving at 3:00 AM”, so we had this techno sound, with kick drums in it, all of these big trancey sounds. It didn’t feel very us, it felt like something another band would do. It made sense on paper, but in practice, it didn’t really sound like Boston Manor. I’m all about trying everything, but it’s also about knowing when you’ve maybe strayed too far in one direction. We recorded that song, but it’ll never see the light of day. We were like, “Well, we need to do something that’s gonna be quite energetic, big chorus, doesn’t feel too doom and gloom.” That’s that song.


‘Crocus’ is my favorite track on the record. I fucking love it. It’s that Nine Inch Nails sound…It’s really dark, it’s kind of sexy, and we’ve always talked about it as a bit of a joke. We’re really into the club in The Matrix, and the one at the beginning of the film Blade. We always wanted to capture the essence of that. Not necessarily the music, but I wanted to write a song you could play as the music in that scene. We tried a few times and I think this is the closest we got with that. It’s a track that’s kind of heady, it’s overconfident in and of itself. That’s part of the theme, it fits the story, being a bit power drunk. It’s also about swinging and trying to hit, you know, in life. Really going for things and throwing your all into something, for better or for worse. The video for it is my favourite video we’ve ever done.

‘Shelter From The Rain’

If the record had been longer, we probably would’ve done more interludes. This is that part of the story where you’re wandering around drunk and alone at like 4:00 AM. It’s raining, you can’t get a cab anywhere, and you just wanna go home. You feel very vulnerable and you’re just sort of like under a corner shop somewhere trying to get some shelter from the rain both literally and metaphorically. All the street sounds you hear are me walking with a recorder around Blackpool at night, and people are walking past me, there are traffic noises. We’re really trying to put you in this world that we’re building. There are little sounds throughout the record hidden much more subtly in other songs, but this is an obvious one to make you feel like you’re literally in it, you know? It gives you a bit of a breather from the guitars. It also kind of gives a bit of impact to the last song, makes it a bit more powerful, because you’ve had that little break, and then it slips into ‘Inertia’.


Inertia is the last track on the record. It’s ending on a positive note. It’s a love song that I wrote for my wife, and it’s about her saving me in some aspects, but also helping me save myself. It sounds dramatic to say that. I wasn’t like, absolutely fucked. But she definitely helped me work through some shit. And also the fact that she supported me throughout all these years, doing what I do. I couldn’t do that without her support. It doesn’t make it easy – it’s always very hard saying goodbye to the person that you care about most for weeks at a time. But she’s super understanding and super supportive, but also…It’s about that will to make a change and to say that the dawn is going to come. Things are going to get easier than when they feel the darkest. Not to talk in cliches, but when they do feel the darkest, there is always going to be the dawn, that’s why it ends at dawn.

And then we have a secret track…It all crescendos and ends with the bird’s song, which is the break of dawn, and the end of the record with the beginning at dusk. That’s it for part one.

Datura is out now via SharpTone Records.

Movements & Boston Manor Australian Tour

Thursday, 9th March
The Triffid, Brisbane (18+)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Friday, 10th March
Newy Hotel, Newcastle (18+)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Saturday, 11th March
Factory Theatre, Sydney (LIC AA)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Tuesday, 14th March
Dicey Riley’s, Wollongong, (18+)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Wednesday, 15th March
Sooki Lounge, Belgrave (18+)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Thursday, 16th March
Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Friday, 17th March
Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide (LIC AA)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Saturday, 18th March
Amplifier Bar, Perth (18+)
Tickets: Destroy All Lines