Spiritualized have shared the first two tracks from And Nothing Hurt, the band's first album since 2012's Sweet Heart Sweet Light.
Listen to the audio single for "A Perfect Miracle" and watch the cathartic music video for "I'm Your Man" below, courtesy of the band's YouTube channel.
Both songs have a powerful atmospheric quality, immediately showcasing founding member and frontman J. Spaceman's ambitious intent. One of the biggest surprises of these singles is that they were made solely by Spaceman, on a laptop in his London home.
The climactic structure of "A Perfect Miracle" sounds a lot like the title track to Spiritualized's 1997 classic, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. Softly opening to the Hawaiian style riff of a ukulele, combined with a dreamy synthesizer effect, a building crescendo of strings, horns, guitars, xylophones, and a march-like percussion. The tender delivery of the verses' lyrics read like a love letter but contrast starkly against forlorn choruses in the form of a lullaby. Along with the chorus, overdubbed vocal tracks in a choir style deliver an ironic twist to the otherwise innocent love ballad.
The twangy country-rock quality of "I'm Your Man" calls back to the '60s era. In addition to the passionate guitar solo at the track's climax, there is a nostalgic element to the video, which shows a Hank Williams bobblehead, framed picture of Link Wray, and sees Spaceman making a pilgrimage to the Joshua Tree memorial to Gram Parsons and spending time in the hotel where the musician died of a morphine and alcohol overdose in 1973.
Spaceman, also known as Jason Pierce, has been Spiritualized's leader and only constant member since he created the band in 1990. Dozens of musicians have been featured on past albums, which have been made in some of the most renowned professional recording studios around the world from London and Bath to New York and Los Angeles. This effort is a big departure from everything the band has done before.
Continuing the sounds of Spiritualized by himself resulted in a far more daunting and painful creative process for Pierce, especially when working under a constrained budget. Pierce reflected on the frustrating trial and error involved in making And Nothing Hurt and his previous comments that this may be the final Spiritualized album in a press release with Fat Possum Records:
I was quite sincere about that and I still feel like it might be the case. It was such hard work. I found myself going crazy for so long. It’s not like there’s no coming back, I’m fine now… it’s just such a hard thing to do, to make a record like this on your own. It’s almost as if, if I’m not pushing myself to point of madness, it’s not going to be right. I think the biggest goal is to make something that’s worthy of all that time and effort. And the more time and effort, the bigger the goal. I knew I had to make something that was good enough that it should be made. And a massive positive about making the record is that we get to play it live. That’s always the most joyous thing; this amazing thing that seems to come right through the roof.
And Nothing Hurt is scheduled to be released on September 7, 2018, and is available for order on Amazon.
For more music, news, and tour dates, check out Spirtualized's Zumic artist page.