The Fly – 27th March 2013
Track Of The Day #268
It’s been a minute since we heard from brothers Alex and Thomas White in their Electric Soft Parade guise, but the Brighton group return this June with a new record in ‘IDIOTS’. The band toured with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds for the 10th anniversary of their Mercury-nominated debut ‘Holes In The Wall’ last year, and decided to put the 100 or so demos they’d been quietly amassing to good use, by releasing their first album of new material since 2007’s ‘No Need To Be Downhearted’.
“We did spend a lot of time getting things just right,” Thomas says of the album, which takes in influences as disparate as The Clientele, Robert Wyatt, Chicago, The Pet Shop Boys and – we kid you not – Freddie Mercury. “A lot of the songs are very serious, inspired by some horrendously sad things, but it was also just so funny making the album. Despite the subject matter, I’ve never laughed so much.”
As for the odd choice of album title – ‘IDIOTS’ is also the name of a track which appears on the LP – Thomas says: “When it came to the title, it was an easy choice. The song itself is a weird epic that takes in a lot of the sounds that ESP make as a group. IDIOTS is us. We’re just a couple of idiots. But then so is everyone else. It can be someone specific, something very vague, whatever or whoever you want. It’s readable in different ways.”
The band are trailing the record with the sighingly graceful, Pastels-tinged pop of ‘Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone’, which is available to download now via their website and iTunes on 16th April. Buoyed by country-ish guitar licks and a wryly melancholic vocal from Thomas (“There is no god, only summer in the trees / there is no hell, only rubbish in the street”), it’s a satisfyingly mature turn from the band, and bodes well for the album, which will be released on 17th June via Helium Records. – Alex Denney
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