Tag Archives: Public Service Broadcasting

Public Service Broadcasting – “Progress”

13 Mar

After the mega success of 2015’s The Race for Space, those magnificent denizens of chords and cords, Public Service Broadcasting have returned with a brand new single and much teasing about a new album.

All is not quite as it was however, evolution and (dare we say it) progress continues within and the duo is now a trio. Having been involved for sometime as a multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Mr JF Abraham (erstwhile of the Professor Penguin parish) is now a fully paid-up member of the band.

“Progress” is also the first single* from the band to feature a guest vocal, with Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell providing a swirling vocal hook that is so subtly infectious you’ll find yourself singing it absent-mindedly in the shower. With its trademark PSB guitar lines and atmospheric electronic sound, it is everything you’d want from the band with a little added something. It’s subject matter however is still up for debate.

With samples about the coming of machines in factories and ‘Why I believe in progress’ the title of a Henry Ford essay, we could assume it (and the forthcoming album) is about the modernisation of manufacturing, industry, the dawning of the age of mass-production and the beginnings of modern capitalism.

J Willgoose Esq is saying nothing though, not yet anyway so we’ll have to wait and see. Given that the band is about celebrating human achievement, it’s interesting (and fun) to ponder on what is in store. Especially as they have just announced a show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, the press release for which notes cryptically that it is ”a room steeped in rock music history and of great relevance to the new record…” As a venue that historically was at the heart of London’s Irish community (that originally came over during the industrial revolution) that played such a role in the development and expansion of London itself, perhaps the album will be about our nation’s capitol itself?

Who knows? We can’t wait to find out though.

*The Race for Space’s ”Valentina” featured vocals from The Smoke Fairies but wasn’t released as a single so technically this is accurate.

”Progress” is out now and available to stream or download here.”

Get to know Public Service Broadcasting: Website / Twitter / Facebook

2015 Review: Albums of the Year

2 Jan

Albums of the Year

#1: Oh Wonder – Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder

Without question our most played album of the year (it’s pretty much been on repeat in the car since it came out) the debut release by Oh Wonder was also our favourite. While some may have questioned the practice of having all but two of the album’s tracks up online well in advance of its release, saying it would have a negative effect on enjoyment and interest in the album, Oh Wonder instead had a sense of instant accessibility and sing-along-ability. Rather than putting us off, it just kept pulling us back in.

The album is full of warmth and emotion and of hope in the face of despair. It’s beautiful, melodic and enticing. It works as a collection of gorgeously moving songs and as a single, whole entity. The catchy synthpop sensibilities blend with subtle hip-hop influences and gorgeous harmonies to make a simply wonderful record. It can build up when you are feeling low or just hold your hand and let you know it will all be ok.

Most of all, it is just great to listen to, to enjoy, to sing along with and to come back to again and again and again.

Buy Oh Wonder from: ohwondermusic.com

#2: All We Are – All We Are


Released back at the start of February, the eponymous debut album from Liverpool based, but very international, All We Are is one we’ve come back to time and time again over the last 12 months, and it never stops sounding amazing.

Their laid back psychedelic grooves grind along with effortless and sublime ease. There are moments of celestial beauty, of contemplative meditation and post disco boogie wonderland-ing. It swirls and sways, dances with funky grace and exudes Fonzie levels of cool. If we were an album, we’d want to be All We Are.

Buy All We Are from: Double Six Records

#3: Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space

PSB The Race For Space

Following on from their critically acclaimed and official chart bothering debut, Inform – Educate – Entertain was always going to be challenging for Public Service Broadcasting but we’d say they surpassed it (and not just in chart position).

Echoing the single theme narrative of their remarkable The War Room EP, The Race for Space deals with one specific period of the past (which they make come to life). Here the pair delves into the rich history of the American-Soviet space programmes and delivers (amongst others) moments of intense drama (“The Other Side”) excitement (“Go”) and stupidly funky fun (“Gagarin”).

Buy The Race For Space from: publicservicebroadcasting.net/

Others We’ve Loved

In no particular order…

Susanne Sundfør – Ten Love Songs
John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
Lonelady – Hinterland
Gems – Kill the One You Love
Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds
Empress Of – Me
Lanterns on the Lake – Beings
Brooke Annibale – The Simple Fear
C Duncan – Architect

2015 Review: Moment of the Year

1 Jan

Moment of the Year

Public Service Broadcasting play Brixton

It may sound odd, but our moment of 2015 was a gig we didn’t go to. Well, not physically anyway. Like thousands of others, we sat down to watch online as, at the end of November, Public Service Broadcasting played the 5,000 capacity Brixton Academy.

Livestreamed, the show was utterly magnificent and we can only imagine how incredible it must have felt for the sold out crowd inside. Classics were played as well as new favourites, the stage was grander than ever with vast TV screens and added satellite related elements. There were strings, a choir, an enlarged horn section and fake snow confetti for the “Everest” finale. The voice of PSB made appearance in person to do some introductions and, for the first time, Mr J. Willgoose, esq spoke to the crowd himself.

PSB Brixton

The reaction online, viewed via #psblive on twitter, was at least as positive as it appeared to be at the venue. Love came flooding in from across the globe (some people were even watching whilst on a flight) and we couldn’t help but feel so very proud. And it was that pride that really made this our moment of the year.

We were proud to see how far this quirky little band that we have loved and supported for so long have come. Proud of what they have achieved knowing how hard they have worked, how much effort has been put in, not least in playing what feels like about a thousand gigs a year.

On that Sunday night it felt like the whole world was waking up to what we’ve know for a long time, that Public Service Broadcasting truly are a wonderful and special band. Sharing that feeling with tens of thousands of others as we watched the show was undoubtedly our music moment of 2015.

Photo courtesy of teamrock.com

2014 Review: Video of the Year

23 Dec

PSB Gagarin

We thought we’d add a little something to our listing festivities this year. It’s just a little bonus something for you our loyal reader (which is no way designed to buy us more time as we sort out our album/ep list, uh uh, no Sir). Tomorrow we will share with you our favourite gig of 2014 and today, for the first time ever; we crown a video of the year.

Public Service Broadcasting – “Gagarin”

There could only be one winner here really. While there have been many beautiful, cinematic and thought provoking videos released in the last 12 months, but not one was as surprising, fun and batshit brilliant as the sight of two astronauts (who may or may not be Willgoose and Wrigglesworth (it’s not, sadly)) busting some funk-ass moves all over the place. They’d teased the album with a short trailer that featured a more reverential soundtrack, so that they then dropped this groovalicious tune with its smile inducing video, it caught us all on the hop and had us buzzing with excitement. It’s fantastic, fast, funky and oh so much fun. We bet more than one of you has tried out some of the moves at your Christmas party this year as well.

2014 Tracks Of The Year – #20 – 16

11 Dec

Tracks of 2014 - 20-16

Here we go then with the second part of our Tracks of the Year countdown. After revealing the tracks that hit the spots marked 25 – 21 yesterday, it’s time to unveil the five songs that made it to the 20 – 16 places.

#20 Mighty Mouse – “See Through You” (feat. Ronika)

When our favourite disco loving pop starlet Ronika teamed up with famed producer Mighty Mouse, we knew the results would be great but their collaboration on “See Through You” was something else. Released as the winter cold began to set in, it unleashed a sheet of warmth and sunshine into our world with its soft disco funk vibe and luscious hook that instantly made us think of Mediterranean holidays and cocktails by the pool. The bassline grooves along with a light dancing swagger as the various layers of electronics, strings and vocals beckon you hither for a glorious night on the town in the late summer sunshine.

#19 Slow Club – “Complete Surrender”

The title track from Slow Club’s latest album caused something of a stir here at Alphabet Towers, and across the blog world, sounding as it did, quite different to their usual fare. It sounded different but “Complete Surrender” also sounded utterly fantastic. A ridiculously infectious track, it’s big, funky, brash and utterly danceable with so much going on, so much to enjoy and revel in. Rebecca’s voice soars like never before, there are hooks aplenty and some of the most gorgeously dramatic strings we’ve heard in some time. It’s a compulsive amalgamation of styles and sounds and we couldn’t get it out of our heads for weeks. Then we saw them play it live at Latitude and it settled back in our brains for another month. The video is stunning as well.

#18 Jack Garratt – “I Couldn’t Want You Anyway”

For his official debut track Jack Garratt gave us a tune rich with glacial beauty as “I Couldn’t Want You Anyway” dealt with an autopsy of a relationship. His falsetto vocals are cold and pained, poisoned with the deception he is deluding himself with; that he didn’t want her anyway. Soft, muted R&B tones blend with sharp electronic beats in order to disguise the cause of death as melodic icy fingers of rejection rest, still clamped round a warm heart, choking the last vestiges of life from it. Tears and realisation fall from within as that haunting vocal finally cracks and allows the truth to flow and his heart is given peace.

Note: The below video is a live session, not the single edit (it’s still gorgeous though).

#17 Fickle Friends – “Swim”

Our number one artist to listen out for in 2015, Fickle Friends were the first band we wrote about this year and Swim was the first track. Nearly 12 months later and it still sounds as bright, bubbly and as infectious as it did back then. There are Prince-esque jams inside this 80’s new-wave pop doughnut, with a sprinkled coating of Robyn on the outside, and it tastes gorgeous. It makes you want to dance, and not all cool and ironic dancing either. We’re talking silly and enthusiastic, drunk and probably lacking in coordination but stupidly fun dancing. We mean that kind of singing along with your arm around a mate dancing as you have one of those nights that go down as one of the best nights ever, even though its subject matter is distinctly less upbeat and happy.

#16 Public Service Broadcasting – “Gagarin”

Proving that as well as informing, educating and entertaining, they also have the capacity to surprise us, Public Service Broadcasting returned this year the incredible and remarkably funky, “Gagarin”. Deliberately incongruous to the reverential nature of its subject, it is a superbly uplifting piece of electronic-funk-pop. It is still distinctly PSB, and not just because of the sample use, with little Willgoose signatures in there (call backs to “Signal 30”for example) as well as (it sounds to us) a little Muppet Show reference thrown in too. While we are yet to master all the dance moves from the video, it is certainly a track we will be boogying on down to a fair bit over the Christmas period we reckon.