“We’re on an independent label, playing music with a very progressive message, so it’s mad that we’re up here in this position."
(Pic by Jamie Waters)
Enter Shikari are over 20 years and seven albums into their career, and they’ve just landed their first-ever #1 album in their native United Kingdom with A Kiss For The Whole World.
The post-hardcore music chameleons – vocalist Rou Reynolds, guitarist Rory Clewlow, bassist Chris Batten and drummer Rob Rolfe, formed in St Albans in East England, were so close to the top spot with their sixth album, 2020’s Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, which landed in second place behind Gerry Cinnamon’s The Bonny.
2017’s The Spark was a UK #5 album, while The Mindsweep took #6 in 2015 (#19 in Australia). A Flash Flood Of Colour, released in January 2012, made it to #4, Common Dreads (2009) at #16, and their first album, Take To The Skies, released in 2007, debuted at #4.
A Kiss For The Whole World, a collection of songs a bit less surprising than Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, was extremely difficult for Reynolds to write, with the Covid-19 lockdowns pushing him into isolation, away from stages and into writer’s block.
Upon announcing the album, Reynolds said about the reggae-tinged first single, (pls) set me on fire: "Honestly, I thought I was fucked. I’ve never felt so detached from my soul, my purpose, my fucking spirit. I didn’t write music for almost two years. The longest I’d gone before that was two weeks. I was broken.
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"It’s almost as if my brain had asked: 'What is the point in music if it cannot be shared? What is the point in writing music if it’s not to be experienced with others?' and then promptly switched itself off. (pls) set me on fire grew out of that desperation. This song is a projectile vomit of positive energy. Every emotion trapped inside me for two years, finally set free." You can read Kill Your Stereo's interview with Reynolds here.
So, to land at #1 after numerous struggles is a big deal. Enter Shikari told Official Charts, “We’ve just found out that our album, A Kiss For The Whole World, is #1 in the Official UK Album Charts. That’s mad. Thank you to everyone who streamed it, bought it and rallied round us; we appreciate you so much!
“We’re on an independent label, playing music with a very progressive message, so it’s mad that we’re up here in this position. Thank you so much. Big up, big love!”
Enter Shikari finished just 800 chart units above The 1975’s Record Store Day release, Live With the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Earlier this week, they were in stiff competition with Everything But The Girl, who released their first album in 24 years, Fuse.