[ Columbia / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 3 September 2021
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'The Ultra Vivid Lament' is both reflection and reaction; a record that gazes in isolation across a cluttered room, fogged by often painful memories, to focus on an open window framing a gleaming vista of land melting into sea and endless sky.
'The Ultra Vivid Lament's eleven tracks perfectly marry introspection, quiet rage and sublime, irresistible tunes. Those elements are there throughout, from the opening ambient hum of 'Snowing In Sapporo' to the galloping 'The Secret He Had Missed's push-and-pull duet imagining dialogue between Welsh brother and sister artists Augustus and Gwen John; via 'Diapause's sublime contemplation and 'Happy Bored Alone's stoic wishful thinking.
Musically, 'The Ultra Vivid Lament' is inspired by a formative years record box (ABBA, post-Eno Roxy, the Bunnymen, Fables-era REM, Lodger) though the end result could only be the unique union of James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore, collectively one of the UK's most consistently brilliant rock'n'roll bands for over three decades.
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 2020/21 in Wales at Rockfield in Monmouth and the bands' Door to the River studio in Newport with longtime collaborator Dave Eringa (The Who), before being mixed by David Wrench (Blossoms, Frank Ocean, Arlo Parks). The album features two guest vocalists: Julia Cumming (Sunflower Bean) on 'The Secret He Had Missed' and Mark Lanegan on 'Blank Diary Entry'.
01. Still Snowing In Sapporo
03. The Secret He Had Missed feat. Julia Cumming
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 feat. Mark Lanegan
10. Happy Bored Alone