The Electric Soft Parade are back this week with a new single and video, ‘Brother You Must Walk Your Path Alone’. This is the first track we’ve heard from their forthcoming fourth LP ‘IDIOTS’ which is due out in the summer. I say ‘back’ but really Alex and Thomas White have seldom been far from Brighton stages. ESP reunited as a live entity back in 2010, to raise money for the Martlets Hospice at their ‘Maximalism’ event at the Concorde 2. In 2011 the band released an EP featuring new material, toured in Europe with Noel Gallagher, and held a residency at The Albert where they played their back catalogue in sequence and showcased some new material. 2012 was a bit of a landmark year for ESP, it was the 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Holes In The Wall’, which has probably been their most commercially successful record to date; garnering a Mercury Music Prize nomination and spawning several chart-bothering singles. This is all relevant because the band has reunited with the same production team (Chris Hughes and Mark Frith) that brought us their debut for ‘IDIOTS’. The band spent most of 2012 ensconced in a studio working on the record; these first results suggest it was time well spent!
‘Brother You Must Walk Your Path Alone’ is a charming piece of mature pop music; shuffling drums, soft acoustic guitars, pretty pianos and a luscious vocal from Thomas White. The track is shimmery and summery as hell, yet it is underpinned by a sense of melancholy and longing, dark contemplative lyrics contrast with a buoyant guitar hook and I’m left feeling both nostalgic and comforted. This is all perfectly illustrated by the video. In a series of beautiful shots we see a young man on a journey, reminiscing in black and white flashbacks of an old relationship. At the end we find he is visiting a graveyard, presumably his former lover is dead. It’s all very poignant, and if you look carefully you’ll see cameos from the brothers’ White. It’s a fantastic first release and a real tight piece of production, it’s not very often a ballad like this comes in way under three minutes! An extremely promising start for album number four, I can’t wait!
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