by Rita Aresta
Ten weeks to the day after releasing “International Blue”, the first single from their upcoming new album Resistance Is Futile, and a week after the acoustic masterpiece that was “International Blue (The Bluer Skies Version)”, the Manic Street Preachers had fans waiting until midnight to listen to their next single.
“Distant Colours” starts off slow – with an unusual choice to have vocals right at the start – but gradually builds up to that particular kind of epic chorus only the Manics can quite do. Having written the lyrics himself, frontman James Dean Bradfield sings about his disenchantment with the left of his youth; where the classic Labour of Nye Bevan has ended up: “Musically, the verse is downcast and melancholic and the chorus is an explosion of disillusionment and tears.” Have a listen:
While “International Blue” felt more like the perfect riff-heavy song you’d drive along to with the windows down, a perfect fit for Postcards From A Young Man, “Distant Colours” brings something slightly different in its own right. Of their first new album since 2014’s Futurology, the band said: “The main themes of Resistance is Futile are memory and loss; forgotten history; confused reality and art as a hiding place and inspiration” – all of which are perfectly displayed in this new single.
Shot by long-term collaborator Kieran Evans, its video once again sees Sarah Sayuri (from “International Blue”), in a number Welsh key historical and cultural sites, such as the famous “Cofiwch Dryweryn” (“Remember Tryweryn”), the protest memorial to the drowning of the village Tryweryn, and the statue of Welsh warrior Llywelyn ap Gruffydd overlooking Llandovery. She then weaves down through the plains of the Brecon Beacons to find herself in front of the Aneurin Bevan “Stones” on the windblown edges of Ebbw Vale; further south, to the extraordinary miners’ memorial “Guardian of the Valleys” in Six Bells, Abertiller, and on to the Chartist Monument on the outskirts of Blackwood, before arriving at the town’s Little Theatre the site of the third ever Manics gig.
Resistance Is Futile is due out on Columbia/Sony on the 13th April 2018. Pre-order here.
To coincide with the album’s release, the band will play a series of UK dates:
23 April NEWCASTLE, Metro Radio Arena
25 April GLASGOW, The SSE Hydro Arena
27 April BIRMINGHAM, Arena
28 April MANCHESTER, Arena
1 May LLANDUDNO, Venue Cymru Arena
2 May LEEDS, First Direct Arena
4 May LONDON, The SSE Arena Wembley
5 May CARDIFF, Motorpoint Arena
25 May THE BIGGEST WEEEKEND: BELFAST
21-24 June ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL
21 July PENN FESTIVAL, Buckinghamshire
27 July Y NOT FESTIVAL, Peak District