This new single by IST IST was launched in December but we’re flagging it up as we’re excited about the band’s upcoming album. Mary In the Black and White Room is taken from the Manchester band’s upcoming third album called Protagonists, out 31st March, via Kind Violence records.
IST IST produce a dense and uncompromising guitar and synth post-punk sound, anchored by the phenomenal, doomy baritone of lead singer Adam Houghton. The band’s debut album Architecture, released in 2020 was replete with drama and gothic symbolism, raw and intense.
Mary in the Black and White Room sees IST IST move in a little more synth driven direction. The lyrics are intriguing. Say the band: “The track is is inspired by a thought experiment proposed by the philosopher Frank Jackson that has become known as ‘the knowledge argument’ (or ‘Mary’s room’). Hypothesising the work of a scientist called Mary, who exists in a black and white world where she has extensive access to physical descriptions of colour, but no actual human perceptual experience of colour; Jackson’s theory wonders whether Mary will gain new knowledge if she actually experiences seeing colour.”
Adds frontman Adam Houghton: “Mary in the Black and White Room is about trying to figure out if experience trumps knowledge.”
It’s an intriguing track which sees IST IST, in common with the band’s work up to this point, remain uncompromising in their endeavour to stay true to their craft and their message.
To mark the release, IST IST will be playing a special hometown launch show for the new record at the Manchester Ritz in March, plus a set at Whitby’s Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival plus further dates listed on their website IST IST Music.