simple minds

In all fairness, perhaps call it embarrassment on our part, but the last time anything new by Simple Minds troubled our player was around the mid 80’s, I think in truth we were going through a not listening to chart bothering tunes phase, which has pretty much stayed with us ever since, aside that we’ve never stuck around or pinned allegiances to brands and bands and anyway by the time ‘Belfast child’ conquered all we were off in search of sounds anew. That said Simple Minds played a somewhat small role in our formative listening years, you’ll oft hear us using the term ‘ahead of the curve’ and for Kerr and Co it was a justified description, early releases revealed an artiness and a willingness to experiment fusing generic sound species that like-minded peers of their era avoided or lacked the verve to carry out. By and large sitting outside the usual synth sound camp (appealing to both admiring tribes of Joy Division and mark 1 Human League), Simple Minds offered a cooler proposition, their sounds abstract and oft perplexed by the avoidance of your usual verse chorus verse format, even in their earliest days despite their left of centre poise they still possessed enough pop nous to catch the passing ear lobe, even before ‘sister feelings call’ / ‘sons of fascination’ (all said our favourite set) had signposted their statement of intent the ensemble had tucked beneath their arms a formidable back catalogue of forward thinking albums totalling three. Why I mention all this is because there was a slight trepidation in finding looming large on our player a new single, ‘midnight walking’ be its name, revisiting old heroes has, on many numerous occasions, been a harrowing let down, and so you can probably understand the anxiety we faced, should we give it a try or just simply skip ahead and pretend we never saw it. Only curiosity got the better. With a new album lurking in the guise of ‘big music’, ‘midnight walking’ arrives buttressed upon corteges of lunar florets and hyper driving strobe light pulsars powered upon motorik turbos, the sound epic and panoramic comes clipped and framed in a glassy futuristic iciness to recall Swimmer One’s ‘psychogeography’ from 2010’s essential landmark full length ‘dead orchestras’ and dwells upon themes of movement and migration and with it alienation and disconnection, in some respects it is the best and worst, rather more the ‘new gold dream’ in decay and reaching saturation level, a mirror opposite to the idealistic hope that rushed and ushered through the brightly futuristic viewfinder that was ‘theme for great cities’.

 

 

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