UK legends Enter Shikari have delighted fans with the release of a new single “Stop the Clocks”. Though it’s not new to those who’ve caught it in the flesh, the single is the first new release from the band since their 2017 album The Spark.
Feeling and sounding like it could be a B-side from The Spark, “Stop the Clocks” carries the same spirit of joy and connection that we heard in songs like “Undercover Agents”. Boppy and infectious with it’s playful and cosy synthy melody and heart-fluttering pace, “Stop the Clocks” features a poptastic chorus as well as vulnerable verses. This is a treat for headphones listeners, where gritty bass tones and guitar lines are just at home here as spaces for silence.
The heart-crowbarring line of the song is “that makes two of us”, which is simple, beautiful, and powerfully connective. I think Enter Shikari know how powerful the line is, because it’s used repeatedly through the song in both the verses and the chorus. There’s also stunning accents that come add dramatic and angelic focus to the lyrics; where the words “scenes”, “bliss”, “please”, in the verses are bathed in a spotlight of harmonic light.
“There’s a cinema in me. It plays counterfeit scenes.”
Enter Shikari are masters of inspiring tales via song that feel as real and grounded as someone holding your hand. “Stop the Clocks” is one of those, where confessions of failure to be in the present and free from anxiousness are affirmed by another. The bridge specifically looks to the missing of moments instead of grasping them as they are. This is only improved with the instrumentation building and growing with tension alongside the confessional track. The track’s outro and final chorus seems custom-made for dancing, if you’re not already moving.
You could take this ridiculously catchy song as a love song, in how the protagonist craves a moment in time to be frozen together with another, and also how safe harbour is searched by two. Maybe it’s a love song for humanity, and how we can bond with our sameness of struggle as opposed to clash over our differences. Or maybe it’s just a reminder to be present? Nonetheless, it’s a beauty.
Though “Stop the Clocks” is simple and easy to take in (and press the repeat button), it leaves an affectionate impression and a feeling of connection, which may or may not spark tears or just a general all-over warm and fuzzy feeling.
Watch “Stop the Clocks” via YouTube below, and/or find it at your usual streaming places.