Spearmint live

We are sorry to inform you that the Spearmint gig on Thursday 17th September at 229 in London has now been cancelled for obvious reasons, while we all figure out how live music will work safely from now on.

Apologies to those of you who were looking forward to hearing songs from ‘A Week Away’ live. We still hope to play these at a later date, but this will be the other side of the next album now.

On a positive note, we’re now deep into writing the next record, which is something that can happen unimpeded this year while we are unable to play live… Shirl X 

New Spearmint Single & Video

The new Spearmint single ‘Thomas’ from our album ‘Are You From The Future?’ will be released on 15th May 2020 – and here is the new video!

The single will be available on two separate, rare as hen’s teeth, extremely limited, autographed, customised white-label 7 inches: hitBACK53V features ‘Thomas’ and exclusive track ‘Girls With Guitars’, a musing on the music industry in the late 90s / early 00’s, which you can order here.

And hitBACK54V includes ‘The Lonely Diamonds’, a Spanish reflection on dealing with grief, which you can order here.

Shirl X

Spearmint play songs from ‘A Week Away’ and ‘Are You From The Future?’

There will be a rare chance to hear Spearmint play songs from our debut album ‘A Week Away’ and our latest ‘Are You From The Future?’ on Thursday 17th September 2020 at 229 in London. We will be joined by Matt Cooper. Tickets available now here.

Here’s what the press said about ‘Are You From The Future?’:

“Contender for the end of the year best-of lists. I could pick every single track here as a highlight. This guy could sing the phone book.” – Louder Than War

“It’s one of the best albums of the year.” – God is in the TV

“Could well be their finest work yet. Spearmint craft and create moments of wonder, delight and joy on every song and leave you gasping.” – Mild Mannered Army

“Sweeping, swooping strings, swooning, mooning wordsmithery, the right side of twee and never dull nor dumb, cleverly literate with literal endeavours. What more could you ask for?” ***** Music News

“Spearmint’s ‘Future’ vision fizzes with energy and charm vibrantly alive in the here and now.” **** Record Collector

“One of the great unsung indie-pop bands of the last 20 years.” – Arts Agenda     

“Clever pop, big tunes – this band is a hidden gem.” – Vanguard Online

“Every song on ‘Are You from The Future?’ is a melodious delight: wry observations on politics, love, longing and loss. Spearmint are a revelation and an institution.” – Back Seat Mafia

“Glitzy glitterball lounge funk vibes wonderfully drenching these grooves with their citric tones, spray your listening space in an adorable sunny feel good radiance. Resistance as they say, is useless.” – The Sunday Experience

“The world would clearly be a better place if more people knew about Spearmint.” – Sonic Breakfast

“Equal parts The Style Council and Love Unlimited Orchestra” – Brooklyn Vegan

“I am glad I have discovered Spearmint, as you will to once you give them a listen.” – Get Ready to Rock

“Grab this album, crank up the volume and dance barefoot round the kitchen… Go buy!” – Penny Black Music

New album / vinyl album / special guest for London show / Brighton gig / Near Perfect Pitch Podcast / Article 54 album / Scottish Pop radio show.

New album

The new Spearmint album ‘Are You From The Future?’ is released on Friday 1st November, and we are untypically proud of it! You can order a CD here, and get it digitally from all the usual places.

Vinyl album

There is an extremely limited pressing of 100 customised, numbered, white-label vinyl albums, each autographed by Shirley, Jim, Ronan and Si. You can order your copy here.

Special guest for London show

We are delighted to announce that Piney Gir will be joining us for our London show at Water Rats on Thursday 14th November. Hear the new songs live for the first time plus some selected favourites! You can get your ticket here.

Brighton gig

On Thursday 5th December we will return to Brighton to play at the Prince Albert (under the station with the amazing murals of departed musical icons). Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Meningitis Now – tickets available here

Near Perfect Pitch Podcast

The latest edition of this excellent podcast features me rattling on at length about the new album – check it out here… and here is the Magic Biscuit Tin Infographic, which I initially didn’t believe existed!

Article 54 album

Our friend Rhodri has made a new album. Remember those three great Free French albums on hitBACK? Rhodri also produced Spearmint’s ‘Paris In A Bottle’ and ‘My Missing Days’ albums. Well, the new album is called ‘The Hustle’ by Article 54. It’s an eight-song disco response to the Brexit circus, and it’s my favourite new album of the year so far. You can get it here . This will release some of that tension that may have been building up in you for past three years… and if you’re not close to Brexit (I envy you), then I recommend you get it anyway – it’s simply a brilliant album.

Scottish Pop radio show

The good folk at 22westmedia.com, the student station at Long Beach State University, have put together a whole radio show based around our song ‘Scottish Pop’! Lots of great tunes, including some (perhaps provocatively mainstream) selections from me. You can listen here.

Shirl

X

Another new Spearmint single and video!

The video for the new Spearmint single is out now:  https://youtu.be/TQSmNTwKWWY

‘St Thomas in the Darkness’ is released on 18th October and is the second single from the album ‘Are You From The Future?’, which comes out on 1st November. The song was originally conceived as an acapella piece over a quite sombre drum-beat, a bit like something the Shirelles or the Crystals would have done. That’s where the harmonies over the single chord in the verses came from. Then as usual when writing, it kept going round in my head while I was walking round town, and in my mind it started to become a disco tune, a bit ‘Heart of Glass’.

From there the one-note bass-line for the verses emerged, which I really like, and that became the centre of the arrangement.

Lyrically it’s a love song, and it’s totally literal – I don’t feel like it needs any explanation. I’m very fond of the words as they are close to my heart, but also, I really like the “When I’m weak…” and the “I’m not good with names…” sections.

We recorded the song in Brighton with our producer JB. Even during recording it veered between disco, girl-group plain-song and a more gothic direction, which we slightly backed away from in the end, but we might explore more when we play it live. We landed on a mixture of these and I think it works well. Ronan put the drums down, Jim did the bass and Si did all the harmonies.

We shot the video in the Observer Building in Hastings with director Martin Gordon. I really enjoyed how pretentious it all got, almost Hammer Horror, with us creeping round the vaults in darkness. The song is totally Spearmint, fits nicely on the album, and we’re really looking forward to playing in our live shows.

New Spearmint single out now… new album available to pre-order

The new Spearmint single ’24 Hours in A and E’ is available to buy digitally now, from all the usual places. You can hear it here.

The new album is called ‘Are You From The Future?’ and is released on 1st November (that seems like ages away, but it’s only a few weeks!). You can pre-order your CD now – if you do, you’ll get the digital single for free straight away.

News on the extremely limited vinyl version will follow in a couple of weeks’ time… and don’t forget that tickets for the London show on 14th November are on sale now too.

Here are a few of my musings on the single:

’24 Hours in A and E’ was one of the last songs written for the album. We were already well into recording when I finished it. We began making the album before the writing was finished, because I knew it would give me something to do if recording took a while. 

I had the intro (and outro) for quite a while but couldn’t figure out what should happen next. Everything I tried seemed disappointing. I was working on the main riff separately as an idea for a different song, and one day I wondered what would happen if that was what followed the intro. It worked straight away – it’s not often that happens, but it’s great when it does.

I got the vocal parts immediately. The longer string passages wrote themselves in my head as I was walking round Brighton. I don’t recommend you get this song trapped in your head by the way – it lodges itself and is painful to get rid of. The middle eight is a conscious nod to the break in our tune ‘A Trip Into Space’, which was itself reminiscent of the Style Council, which itself echoed Tanya Marie and Curtis Mayfield. Normally you get rid of those bits, but sometimes it’s fun to leave them in.

The title refers to our current life experience: somehow finding moments of joy amid sustained crisis. The two lyrical sections contrast how when things are going well, we are quite good at making things difficult, just by not communicating properly… yet often in periods of crisis, we somehow manage to find moments of real joy.

I was so proud of the song once it was finished, especially the structure, which I think is unique. I was worried that the band or our producer JB wouldn’t get it, and would want to change the structure to make it more orthodox, or not lead with the falsetto vocals. But they all got it straight away, it was a pleasure to work on, and makes the perfect opener to the new album.

Jim put the bass down and Ronan did the drums. Si and I did the vocals and Si played synth strings, which sounded really good. But we felt that it was worth trying real strings on the track, so JB introduced us to Ellie Wyatt, who did such a fabulous job of it. The final touch was the Star Trek-like boost to the vocal, which was provided by Dominique Levant. Jim did the artwork, riffing on the album sleeve, but it has me climbing into the tunnel rather than Si.

All in all, the song was a joy to be involved with, and very, very Spearmint.

All the best,

Shirl