IST IST Unveil New Single “Mary in the Black and White Room”

IST IST Unveil New Single "Mary in the Black and White Room"

Manchester post punk/new wave band IST IST have unveiled their philosophical new single “Mary in the Black and White Room“.

The track features on their forthcoming album ‘Protagonists‘, which will be out on March 31, 2023. Pre-order you copy here.

With shades of classic OMD, The Cure and New Order, “Mary In The Black And White Room” effervesces in the darkness because of its potent blend of layered synthesisers, darting basslines, and labyrinthine lyrical intrigue.

The track is inspired by a thought experiment proposed by the philosopher Frank Jackson known as ‘the knowledge argument’ (or ‘Mary’s room’). Hypothesising the work of a scientist called Mary, who exists in a black and white world, where she has extensive access to physical descriptions of colour, but no actual human perceptual experience of colour. Consequently Jackson’s theory wonders whether Mary will gain new knowledge if she actually experiences seeing colour.

Speaking about it, frontman Adam Houghton says:

“Mary in the Black and White Room is about trying to figure out if experience trumps knowledge. See ‘the Knowledge Argument’ where the subject, Mary, exists in a black and white world but has extensive descriptions of colour, but you don’t know if she knows what they actually look like until exposed to it. Really interesting stuff.”

Absorbed by themes explored in Jackson’s theory of physicalism, IST IST create an unconventional love-song-of-sorts.

The single arrives with a lyric video created by Shaolin Pete. Watch it below.

IST IST “Mary in the Black and White Room”

The band have also confirm a series of UK headline shows for April 2023, with dates in Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol and London.


MARCH 2023

31 – Manchester Ritz


29 – Whitby – Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival