Spiritualized, the long-running gospel-drone Britpop institution led by the Spacemen 3 legend Jason Pierce, haven’t released a new album in six years. Their last one, 2012’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light, was absolutely breathtaking, and they’ve never released an album that’s less than great. So when they started obliquely teasing new music — via Morse code, of all possible things — our ears perked up. They’ve now made good on all that teasing; a new song is out there in the world.
Earlier today, the BBC 6 Music host Lauren Laverne shared a new Spiritualized single called “I’m Your Man.” It’s a slow-building blues-rock march with humid ’60s-soul horns and twangy guitar murmurs that remind me of Keith Richards. It has nothing to do with Leonard Cohen. This is the more traditional side of Spiritualized, not the brain-chemistry-altering psych-rock on which they built much of their reputation. But it’s gorgeous in its own way.
Shortly afterwards, Spiritualized also shared “A Perfect Miracle,” opening track from their forthcoming album And Nothing Hurt, which is coming out later this summer. “A Perfect Miracle” is a hazy and lovely lullaby of a song, one that starts out with Pierce playing what sounds like a ukulele before layers of psychedelic beauty hit the song. Hear both songs below; there’s also a video for “I’m Your Man” directed by Juliette Larthe.
According to a press release, Pierce recorded the entire new album alone, at home in his London house. Here’s what he has to say about it:
Making this record on my own sent me more mad than anything I’ve done before. We’d been playing these big shows and I really wanted to capture that sound we were making but, without the funds to do, I had to find a way to work within the constraints of what money I had. So I bought a laptop and made it all in a little room in my house…
The biggest thing for me was to try to make it sound like a studio session. There are bits that I went to a studio to record — mainly drums and percussion. I mean, there’s no way I’m going to get timpani up my stairs. When I came to terms with how I was going to make the record, I assumed it was going to sound like Lee Perry — all flying in from different angles; all extraordinary and not hi-tech in construction. But I was new to it all, I didn’t have all the short cuts people use when they’re making records — I just sat there for weeks… for months… moving every level up bit by bit just to try to get the sounds right…
With a bit of trial and lot of error, I found ways of doing something that’s quite simple, if you’ve got the resources. I spent two weeks listening to classical records and strumming the chord that I wanted on my guitar. When I found something to match what I wanted, I’d sample that bit and go for the next chord and try to match that. It took weeks, trying to put together and layer convincing string sounds. But, if I’m honest, all I wanted was for someone to come and play the part and bring their own thing to the record.
01 “A Perfect Miracle”
02 “I’m Your Man”
03 “Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go”
04 “Let’s Dance”
05 “On The Sunshine”
07 “The Morning After”
08 “The Prize”
09 “Sail On Through”
And Nothing Hurt is out 9/7.