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Pom Poko announce new album ‘Champion’ and share spritely title track

Pom Poko have announced details of a new album titled ‘Champion’, and shared the intriguing new title track. Check it out below.

Announced today (April 18), the new album will mark the Norwegian four-piece and NME 100 alumni’s third studio album, following on from their blistering debut ‘Birthday’ in 2019, and 2021’s critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Cheater’.

Set for release on August 16 via Bella Union, the LP is set to see vocalist/lyricist Ragnhild Fangel Jamtveit, bassist Jonas Krøvel, guitarist Martin Miguel Almagro Tonne, and drummer Ola Djupvik reach new heights, as they learn from their time in the industry so far and push their sound in new directions.

“It feels like we’re maturing and growing up together,” explained Jamtveit. “By the time this album comes out, we’ll have been a band for eight years. It’s like we’re evolving. When you’re not grinding with the band all the time, you gain an appreciation for what you’ve built. It’s like a very weird and really lovely little gang to hang out in. I almost feel like we’re superheroes—it’s like being a part of Powerpuff Girls.”

To celebrate the album announcement, the band have also dropped the lead single ‘Champion’ – which sees them take a more stripped-back, chirpy approach than we’re used to. Check it out below.

“One of our collective favourite tracks from the album, so it was very fitting it became the title track,” the band explained of the lead single. “I feel we trusted our songwriting a lot more in this album process, and this song feels like a step towards letting the songwriting speak for itself.

“Our mixer Ali Chant asked if ‘Champion’ is the name of the car in the song, and we kind of like that thought. It’s also a homage to the community feeling you get as a band, we feel very safe when we’re all together in that tour van.”

The band also recalled how it perfectly encapsulates the feeling they hone in on for the remainder of the album, and allows them to have more space to experiment with their sound.

“It’s a bit less cluttered,” said Tonne. “You maybe wouldn’t put it on at the spa or something, but it’s not as quick-firing as a lot of our other stuff has been—songwriting-wise and production-wise, it’s more to the point.”

“We’re at the point where we can work, like, telepathically,” continued Djupvik. “While making the album, we talked very little in the studio, and there was very little artistic intention that we had to convey to each other. Everyone knew what they were supposed to do. Maybe when we’re trying to communicate with a producer, we tend to cram in a lot of ideas, whereas now it’s like, ‘This is the song.’”

You can pre-order the upcoming album here, and check out both the artwork and tracklist below.

Pom Poko ‘Champion’ album artwork. CREDIT: Erlend Peder Kvam

The ‘Champion’ tracklist is:

1. ‘Growing Story’
2. ‘My Family’
3. ‘Champion’
4. ‘You’re Not Helping’
5. ‘Pile Of Wood’
6. ‘Bell’
7. ‘Go’
8. ‘Never Saw It Coming’
9. ‘Druid, Fox And Dragon’
10. ‘Big Life’
11. ‘Fumble’

The announcement of the new album comes just one day before Pom Poko kick off their co-headline UK tour with their Bella Union labelmates Personal Trainer, and play a series of live shows across the remainder of the month.

Starting tomorrow (April 19), with a gig at The Sugarmill in Stoke, the tour will also see them perform in Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds and Bristol.

The dates wrap up with a penultimate slot at London’s Electric Ballroom, and a final gig at the Concorde 2 venue in Brighton. Visit here for remaining tickets.

Following its release in 2021, ‘Cheater’ was given a glowing four-star review from NME, and praised as seeing the Norwegian band broadening their horizons. “‘Cheater’ is one hell of a trip with a rare band who are singularly themselves,” it read. “No-one else could do what Pom Poko do.”

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