Bauhaus are back and more gothically engrossing than ever. With “Drink the New Wine,” their first new song since 2008’s Go Away White, the quartet of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins, and David J play a musical game of Exquisite Corpse.
For those who need to brush up on their surrealist pastimes, Exquisite Corpse was a diversion invented by André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert, and Yves Tangu. Each participant creates one part of a sentence or image, either in total ignorance of what the others are doing, or with only the very end of the previous composition to guide them. The name of the game, as well as Bauhaus’ new single, come from the first sentence produced under these constraints: “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau,” which translates to, “The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.”
For “Drink the New Wine,” Haskins pre-recorded a beat, and then each musician was given 60 seconds with which to do whatever they liked. The song was assembled with a minute-long composite at the end, with no member of Bauhaus knowing what the others had done until they played back the completed track for the first time.
As is so often the case with Exquisite Corpse, the results seem surprisingly purposeful. The first section is built around a narrator who “drowned the blues in booze,” and is now “off to the funny farm.” The second movement is full of hand drums and echoing guitar riffs, as the line, “Dreaming of a perfect world,” is repeated. The third references Mircea Cărtărescu’s formerly-banned book, Ruletistul, about an ordinary man who amasses a fortune after winning an improbable series of Russian Roulette games, and the fourth is the most lyric-forward of all, including the line, “We talk in dreams.” All four sections come together in the fifth composite movement, as you can hear in “Drink the New Wine” below.
In May, Bauhaus will embark on their first US tour in 16 years. Alongside “Drink the New Wine,” the band has just unveiled a second stop in San Francisco. Check out the updated itinerary below and get your tickets here.
Bauhaus 2022 Tour Dates:
05/14 – Pasadena, CA @ Cruel World Fest
05/15 – Pasadena, CA @ Cruel World Fest
05/17 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
05/20 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
05/21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
05/22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
05/25 – Denver, CO @ The Mission Ballroom
05/27 – Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee Theatre
09/08 – New York, NY @ Kings Theatre
09/09 – New York, NY @ Kings Theatre