Britain’s best-kept secret
A direct hit of starry-eyed positivity and disco-steeped nostalgia, “Bundunyabba Blue” from the album ‘Holland Park’ is a guaranteed release of dopamine waiting to rush body, mind and soul.
Reunited with producer Rhodri Marsden for the track, it sees the band return to their timeless disco territory with sweeping string sections, twinkling keys and disco-ball flecked rhythms. Featuring the gentle melancholia of Shirley Lee’s discernable lead vocal coo, the frontman flexes every heartstring on “Bundunyabba Blue”. A snapshot of the themes that course through their upcoming album ‘Holland Park’, its lyrics finds Shirley Lee lost in thought about David Bowie’s legacy, while reminiscing too about his father; a musician in a 70s rock band who never quite made it.
As Shirley explains:
“My father used to go to the cinema when he was away touring. When Dad got home, he’d sit with me and tell me about each of the films he’d seen, proper story-telling, usually in a lot of detail. This song tells of a film he saw as a midnight movie in New York in the ’70s. It was only years later, when I saw the film for myself, that I remembered what it was called: ‘Wake In Fright’. Then it struck me how much Bowie’s ‘Serious Moonlight’ persona and video for ‘Let’s Dance’ were inspired by the movie.”
The track is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated animated video by Moth Media, which artfully brings its recurrent concepts to life.
“Instead of returning to the film or the original book, our song and the video are about my memories of the story my father told me back then. So the main character sometimes looks a little like me, sometimes my father, and sometimes like Bowie too,” says Shirley. “I think this all makes some sense within the twisted logic of the new album!”
“Bundunyabba Blue” is the latest single from the forthcoming Spearmint album ‘Holland Park‘, and swiftly follows the wonderful teaser track: “Walk Away From Hollywood”. Produced by Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti), and with contributions from Rhodri and Andy Lewis (Paul Weller), it’s a record that captures the band’s classic sound at its very best and a record they feel is their best yet. Based around the epic 12-minute title track, the album ruminates on Bowie’s rise and fall, while telling the story of Shirley’s father’s prog band. As Shirley recounts: “They never made it, and there’s nothing online about them, so it’s down to us to tell the story.”
Often referred to as ‘Britain’s best-kept secret’, Spearmint has been making great records for a couple of decades now: this will be their ninth album proper.