Forest Swords
Forest Swords

Forest Swords shares new double single, ‘Butterfly Effect’ & ‘Tar’

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Forest Swords (aka electronic producer/composer Matthew Barnes) returns with long-awaited new single ‘Butterfly Effect’, on Ninja Tune.

“Butterfly Effect” is part industrial electronica, part bleak greyscale pop, shifting Forest Swords’ world deeper into murkier, more paranoid territory, with a previously-unheard vocal sample by the legendary singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry.

“The track swirled around as a pure instrumental for a while, a beat I made in the cold factory space in Liverpool I was recording in, some kind of attempt to cope with the psychedelic amounts of pain I was in from a leg injury” says Barnes. “Neneh’s unreleased archive vocal turned out to be a perfect fit, like they were meant to be together somehow. As a fan that has always idolised her, it’s a true honour and life highlight to have her blessing to use the vocal on this track”.

The single is accompanied by an ancient-futurist video created with visual artist Sam Wiehl, and is released along with new b-side “Tar”, a woozily euphoric ambient piece that sees layers of processed wind instruments and sub bass weave in and out of each other.

Since his last critically acclaimed studio album ‘Compassion’, Barnes has spent the past few years working as an in-demand composer and sound designer – scoring music for the Oslo Ballet as well as acclaimed Microsoft video game title ‘As Dusk Falls’ (Tribeca Film Festival – Game Selection), art installations and various Sundance-winning, Oscar longlist nominated films.

Upon its release in 2017 ‘Compassion’ was widely praised by the likes of BBC 6 Music who made the album their ‘Album Of The Day’ and booked a live set at their 6 Music festival. The record also received plays on each daytime show from Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq and Shaun Keaveny, plus garnered impressive press coverage from the likes of Pitchfork, Billboard, i-D, Dazed and Resident Advisor who said “’Compassion’ doesn’t merely reflect the weeping and gnashing of teeth of our time—it does what it can to soothe and heal. The results are both sincere and sublime.” 

The single – a first taster from a forthcoming long-form project – is accompanied by an announcement of UK and European tour dates, his first live shows since the pandemic.

Saturday 2nd September – Varpalota, Hungary: INOTA Festival

Sunday 17th September – Sofia, Bulgaria: Wrong Fest

Thursday 2nd November – Manchester, UK: White Hotel

Friday 3rd November – Newcastle, UK: Cluny 2

Saturday 4th November – Glasgow, UK: Mackintosh Church for Great Western Festival

Friday 10th November – London, UK – ICA

Saturday 18th November – Paris, FR – Badaboum

Monday 20th November – Brussels, BE – AB Club

Tuesday 21st November – Amsterdam, NL – Bitterroot

Wednesday 22nd November – Arnhem, NL – Willemeen    

Thursday 23rd November – Leipzig, DE – UT Connewitz

Tuesday 28th November – Athens, GR – Municipal Theatre Of Piraeus

Tuesday 5th December – Copenhagen, DK – Hotel Cecil

Wednesday 6th December – Stockholm, SE – Slaktkyrkan

Tickets available from

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