Listen: Garbage’s new single, ‘Blood for Poppies’

Garbage’s new single, “Blood for Poppies” is a sonic slab that is instantly redolent of the band from its mid-2000s heyday, and yet at the same time, sounds completely new.

Awash in synthesizers and guitar effects, the song also combines a slight reggae, slacker feel as Shirley Manson wonders “why they are calling on my radio/they know I’m here/just outtasight.” The production, helmed by band members –including uber-producer Butch Vig– is intense, especially during the echo-y breakdown in the middle about “staying alive.”

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It turns out, the song was inspired by a few things and once you know that, it only enhances the feel that Garbage achieved exactly the feel they were going for. “”Blood For Poppies’ is meant to feel sort of like an abstract dream,” Manson said in a statement. “The inspiration came from a story I had read in The Los Angeles Times about the opium trade and also from watching the documentary ‘Restrepo’ It’s not literal in any sense whatsoever but it’s a song about disorientation and delusion and the human struggle to stay sane in the face of insanity.” We hadn’t seen the Los Angeles Times piece, but we’re still haunted by “Restrepo,” which we saw at Sundance more then two years. ago. That certainly explains the military rat-a-tat drums that come in halfway through.

It’s a psychedelic trip that shows that Garbage does not want to pick up where they left off with their last album four years ago. Instead, it’s clear that the foursome wants to advance their musical cause on “Not Your Kind Of People,” out May 15.

In the meantime, you can download the song for free today from Plus, a special 7″ will be available for Record Store Day, April 15.