Manic Street Preachers are back with their first new music in three years, which will be followed by a national tour. ‘International Blue’ is the lead single from the Welsh trio’s forthcoming album ‘Resistance Is Futile’ and spiritually marks a return to their punk-rock roots following the electronic influences that characterised 2014’s ‘Futurology’ album.
“The track itself is carried by the kind of naive energy that powered ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’,” admits lyricist Nicky Wire.
Adds singer-guitarist James Dean Bradfield, who writes the band’s music with drummer Sean Moore: “Often I just need a great title to set me off. Seeing the word blue struck a chord and set off memories of pure pop records we grew up with – things like the ‘Story of the Blues’ by Wah!, ‘Moon is Blue’ by Colourbox, Orange Juice’s ‘Blue Boy’ and ‘In Bluer Skies’ by Echo and the Bunnymen.
“I immediately thought of the kind of shiny freedom pop we used to hear on the radio as kids and that quickly became the MO in my head when writing. I just wanted to make a great Manic Street Preachers driving song; something that evoked the heat haze you see on empty open roads in America. I wanted to channel a Springsteen/War on Drugs sensibility, but through our European filter. Sometimes, aiming for a feeling is enough to make it work.”
That feeling is matched by Wire’s typically erudite lyrics. “I’d been digesting the lyric for five years, since being in Nice and finally joining the dots between Yves Klein’s International Klein Blue and the vast open blue of the Mediterranean Sea,” he elaborates.
“It was a moment of connection that felt perfectly natural – not forced or intellectualised. A different kind of enrichment that feels increasingly difficult to find.”
As such, ‘International Blue’ seems indicative of what to expect from ‘Resistance Is Futile’, which is released on 6 April 2018.
“The main themes of ‘Resistance Is Futile’ are memory and loss – forgotten history – confused reality and art as a hiding place and inspiration. Musically the album is obsessively melodic and in many ways references the naive energy of ‘Generation Terrorists’ and the orchestral sweep of ‘Everything Must Go’,” reveal the band.
“After delay and difficulties, the record has come together really quickly over the last few months, there has been a surge of creativity and old school hard work.”
Following the LP’s release, the band will embark on a Spring UK tour with special guests The Coral that includes a stop at Wembley Arena on 4 May 2018.