UK Bristol-based Avant indie-pop outfit Modesty Blaise has present their new single ‘Come Lie Beside Me’ ahead of releasing their long-awaited album ‘The Modesty Blaise’ via German label From Lo-Fi to Disco! A baroque pop collection, ‘The Modesty Blaise’ is the band’s third studio album and their first LP in 20 years since releasing their head-turning ‘Melancholia’ LP (2001), featuring hit single ‘Carol Mountain’.
Frontman Jonny Collins explains, “Come Lie Beside Me came from a conversation on tour in Germany about whether it was possible to get certain words into songs, in this case, “ramshackle”. Well frankly, that’s easy. It turned into a rather tender song because of Gregory’s Pale Blue Eyes guitar pointing to the reason why the third Modesty Blaise album is called The Modesty Blaise ( the third Velvet Underground album is The Velvet Underground). Ally that to vocals redolent of The Beatles “Because” and you have Come Lie Beside Me, track 3 on The Modesty Blaise where all ballads should be. With its video referencing Warhol’s Factory it should last for 24 hours. But it’s just a perfect 2:44.”
Earlier, the band previewed a few tracks including lead single ‘Girls Just Wanna Dance’, a perfect orchestral pop song and live favourite singalong that is more Music Hall than Dance Hall, ‘Sad Songs’, ‘I Love You’ and ‘Natalie Vendredi’ with its endearing nouvelle vague video.
Modesty Blaise has been around for a few decades in various guises. After forming in late 1993, the band quickly recorded their debut single ‘Christina Terrace’ with the esteemed Edwyn Collins at the helm, garnering them immediate success with a live appearance on ITV and inclusion among many many end-of-year top music rankings. This acclaim however was not enough to quell the kind of internecine warfare that Modesty Blaise has become famous for.
After ‘Melancholia’, the band faced one delay after another with line-up changes and deteriorating personal circumstances. An all-too-familiar spiral, the years went by slowly but, no matter how bad it got, Jonny still had his guitars in his mum’s attic.
“When everyone else was in their bedrooms working on guitar solos and dreaming of being a rock god, I was reading biographies of Cole Porter and listening to Gershwin and Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin. I try to write concise things, with deliberate moves away from that where necessary,” says frontman and songwriter Jonny Collins.
“Melody, arrangement and countermelodies… The 3-minute pop single is, I’d contest, the summit of great art. It is timeless, and we consistently get it wrong confusing art with commerce. If your art (or your pop record) sounds like today, it may sound like yesterday pretty soon. Pop iconoclasm”.