Grammy-nominated UK recording artist Porcupine Tree have confirmed the title of their tenth studio album: The Incident. The captivating new record is set to be released on Roadrunner Records on September 22, as a double CD.
The Incident is a stunning 55-minute musical statement, described by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Steven Wilson as “a slightly surreal song cycle about beginnings and endings and the sense that ‘after this, things will never be the same again.’” The seeds of the idea that led to The Incident came to Wilson as he became caught up in a highway traffic jam while driving past an accident.
“There was a sign saying ‘POLICE – INCIDENT’ and everyone was slowing down to rubber neck to see what had happened,” he recalls. “Afterwards, it struck me that ‘incident’ is a very detached word for something so destructive and traumatic for the people involved. And then I had the sensation that the spirit of someone that had died in the accident entered into my car and was sitting next to me.
“The irony of such a cold expression for such seismic events appealed to me, and I began to pick out other ‘incidents’ reported in the media and news,” continues Wilson. “I wrote about the evacuation of teenage girls from a religious cult in Texas, a family terrorizing its neighbors, a body found floating in a river by some people on a fishing trip, and more. Each song is written in the first person and tries to humanize the detached media reportage.”
Additionally, Wilson delved back into incidents in his own life that had profoundly affected him, including a lost childhood friendship, a séance, his first love and the day that he decided to give up secure employment to follow his dream of making music.
The self-produced album is completed by four standalone compositions that developed out of band writing sessions last December – “Flicker,” “Bonnie The Cat,” “Black Dahlia” and “Remember Me Lover” – housed on a separate CD to stress their independence from the title track.
Coming to the recording sessions following his first ever solo album, November 2008’s Insurgentes, Wilson admits that the experience of having worked alone affected the direction of The Incident. “Possibly because of having done that, this record is darker, expansive, and more experimental,” he theorizes. “But when I write for Porcupine Tree, I know the sound I’m after.”