His first track for label Ninja Tune
Cai Trefor
12:43 9th March 2017

Forest Swords, aka Merseyside-based producer Matthew Barnes, has returned with new single ‘The Highest Flood’, his long-awaited first release with Ninja Tune.

He joins a host of other music producers who have released music this year with the London based independent label, including Bonobo and Thundercat.

‘The Highest Flood’ is Forest Swords’ first studio material since he released acclaimed debut album Engravings in 2013. Arriving shortly after his collaboration with Massive Attack, the new single erupts in the claustrophobic, tenebrous vibrations familiar to that iconic trip-hop group’s work.



There is the tense, skeletal percussion of Barnes’ earlier work, but the new single replaces the often guitar heavy instrumentation of his previous work with disjointed piano and vocal leads to emerge with a sound that is altogether more conflicted and contemporary. “I've been thinking a lot about the ways we need to forge new paths in language, communication and our connection with the natural world”, Barnes explains, "’The Highest Flood' distills some of the frustration and hope that I've been working through over the past 18 months whilst making new material.”

Forest Swords is set to play the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Glasgow on 24th March before heading out on a European tour, returning to the UK on 3rd June for Field Day Festival in Victoria Park, London.