Manic Street Preachers have announced their new album, The Ultra Vivid Lament, marking the Welsh trio’s first LP in three years. They also shared the lead single “Orwellian”, which you can stream below.
A departure from their last release, 2018’s Resistance is Futile, The Ultra Vivid Lament is the first Manic Street Preachers album initially conceived on piano rather than guitar. It was recorded over winter 2020-2021 in Wales at Rockfield in Monmouth and the band’s Door to the River studio in Newport with long-time collaborator Dave Eringa (The Who), before being mixed by David Wrench (Blossoms, Frank Ocean, Arlo Parks).
The album features two guest vocals from Sunflower Bean’s Julia Cumming on “The Secret He Had Missed” and Mark Lanegan on “Blank Diary Entry”.
In a recent interview with MOJO Magazine, bassist and songwriter Nicky Wire described the album as “quite a subtle record” and said it sounds like “The Clash playing Abba.” Meanwhile, in an interview with NME, Wire described the LP is “an expansive record” featuring a “wider landscape, sonically” in comparison to Resistance Is Futile.
As a preview, Manic Street Preachers have shared “Orwellian” as the lead single. “The track is about the battle to claim meaning, the erasing of context within debate, the overriding sense of factional conflict driven by digital platforms leading to a perpetual state of culture war,” the band says in a statement. “As with many songs on the record, it was written on the piano by James Dean Bradfield. Musically, it echoes ABBA, the majesty of Alan Rankine’s playing in the Associates and Talk Talk’s ‘It’s My Life’ with a Lindsey Buckingham guitar solo. It felt like the perfect sonic and lyrical introduction to The Ultra Vivid Lament“.
The Ultra Vivid Lament arrives in full on September 3rd via Columbia Records / Sony.
Editor’s Note: For some confounding reason, the official YouTube stream of “Orwellian” has not yet been made available in the US, but you can find a rip below.
The Ultra Vivid Lament Tracklist:
01. Still Snowing In Sapporo
03. The Secret He Had Missed
04. Quest For Ancient Colour
05. Don’t Let The Night Divide Us
07. Complicated Illusions
08. Into The Waves Of Love
09. Blank Diary Entry
10. Happy Bored Alone