I listened to this excellent album and found that I could offer little more than this, which I borrowed heavily from the press release. I liked what I heard, it is immensely catchy music, and the lyrics are witty, funny and acerbic at times. I endorse Ambiguous Poems About Death. I also nominate it for the album title of the year award.
Ahead of releasing their new album ‘Ambiguous Poems About Death’ via Manchester’s Analogue Trash label on November 26, British synthpop electro duo Spray present ‘Blurred In The Background,’ a clever and catchy taster of this 12-track collection, following up two ever-danceable witty singles – ‘Hammered In An Airport’ and ‘Félicette (Space Cat).’
Spray is music-addict siblings Jenny McLaren (vocals, guitars) and Ricardo Autobahn (synths). They have managed to build an enviable following of devotees to Spray’s brand of danceable and subversive indie disco pop since their 2002 debut ‘Living In Neon’ LP. They are also responsible for a smashing cover of Lisa Lougheed’s ‘Run With Us’ (also ‘The Raccoons’ theme song). Their unique brand of oblique synthpop is catchy as hell, both lyrically and musically, bringing them mainstream pop success in an alternate universe.
Spray’s musical DNA traces back to The Cuban Boys, who recorded one of the best Peel Sessions ever and went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard in a Christmas Chart Battle. Their hit single ‘Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia’ (a.k.a. The Hamster Dance Song) sold a million copies, reached number 4 in the UK single charts and landed them on Top of the Pops. In the words of John Peel, it was “the most requested song I’ve had since God Save The Queen.” They topped the John Peel Festive 50 Charts twice.
Spray was the secret weapon behind the UK’s 2006 Eurovision hit ‘Teenage Life,’ written and produced with Daz Sampson. Their treated vocals were used on the track. Ricardo Autobahn and Sampson’s dance version of ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ (as Rikki and Daz) with the legendary Glen Campbell went Top-10. Spray recorded music with anarchic BBC star Hacker T. Dog. Ricardo also plays keyboards with Welsh punk-pop icons Helen Love.
Spray is again ready to entertain us with their new long-player – they’re second with Analogue Trash, following 2019’s ‘Failure Is Inevitable.’ Jenny and Ricardo have used the intervening time wisely. They have been writing, terrorizing social media, and working with puppets. They have also done several live shows, including August’s first post lockdown live offering in Liverpool.
“In early 2020, we bought a Behringer TD-3, one of the company’s excellent Roland TB-303 knockoffs. We had an idea of putting out a quick acid house-style album in the summer, something short, spiky and electropunk. This did not come to fruition as, like many, Spray found themselves locked down in separate locations, in their case on either side of Lancashire,” says Ricardo Autobahn.
“This album evolved into something a lot more elaborate as the pandemic went on. We tried not to write songs about the global situation because we figured everybody would be doing that. Still, the outside world couldn’t help seeping in.”
Undeterred by distance, recording and production duties were split between Spray Studio 1 (decaying, seen better days) and Spray Studio 2 (shiny, newly refurbished, sweet-smelling) and the album took shape with the TD-3 employed in all the songs, somewhere.
Packed full of acerbic wit with tongue firmly in cheek when needed for maximum effect, ‘Ambiguous Poems About Death‘ will delight fans new and old from the first listen. The long-player will be released on November 26 digitally and on CD, the latter format featuring separate blue cover artwork). It can be pre-ordered at http://snd.click/poems.
‘Blurred In The Background’ https://youtu.be/DzCdVXubulQ
‘Hammered In An Airport’ https://youtu.be/Rah_nr5OHx8
Album pre-order http://snd.click/poems
Félicette (Space Cat)’ https://youtu.be/70VCY9Iu6qc
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