This post, as it were, is a bit of a mezzanine article, caught between my previous article, Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity in our Lives – Lessons from Ride, and an article I am yet to write which will look at what it is like for an older chap like myself to learn guitar.
This previous article looked at the creative reinvention of Ride, a shoegazing band from the very early 90s who recently reformed to great critical success. In this article I want to look continue the British Indie theme by taking a brief look at a rather wonderful new sing from Piroshka, an indie super group made up of with Miki Berenyi (Lush) on vocals and guitar, as well as Moose’s KJ McKillop, Modern English’s Mick Conroy and Elastica’s Justin Welch.
In case you either do not know Lush, or perhaps do not remember them, here is one of their most famous and more pop singles:
While this was a massive tune in its time, I find I have been playing some of their more atmospheric soundscapes in recent years, especially songs like Sweetness and Light:
and Nothing Natural:
Many of the more experimental and thoughtful indies bands of the late 80s and early 90s struggled to retain the support of their labels when the Britpop juggernaught thundered into the British music scene in the mid 90s.
For Lush particularly, it was particularly tragic due to the untimely loss of their drummer Chris Acland in 1996, and not able to fully recover, the band split up.
In 2015 the band briefly reformed and played a number of extremely well-received shows, with Justin Welch from Elastica joining them on drums. Although the band finally called it a day in 2016, it seems that the buzz and spirit of touring and playing live had bitten Mikki once again, and from this basis Piroshka was formed.
With an Japanese mother and a Hungarian father, London-born Mikk wished to honour her roots with by taking the name from the Hungarian version of Little Red Riding Hood. When she announced the news of the band some months ago, many aficionados like myself were genuinely excited, and could not wait to hear the first creations from this new group.
The first tune to be made public is Everlastingly Yours, and was released on the 6th of November. I had been expecting washes of guitar layers, perhaps due to being a fan of Ride as well. I was not expecting the sonic delight of this song, and so rather than write too much more, here it is:
For me there has not been a song quite so immediately engaging as this in a long old while. I had not been expecting the synth lead, and in all of this I can hear many different influences from the 90s. The lyrics follow a narrative reminiscent of Blur, and Mikki’s vocals are suggestive to me of the extremely uplifting tones from Echobelley’s Sonya Madan (a band who never stopped touring I believe). The discordant initial guitars allude to a darker My Bloody Valentine epic, but these almost immediately give way to an extremely uplifting summery song which I have been playing and replaying.
So while there are of course understandable similarities with the music of the early 90s, this song really stands out on its own in 2018. The melody flows like a winding river, and the guitars are present without being pushed to the front, giving the synth and Mikki’s singing an expressive space.
I really love this song and am now really looking forward to the full album Brickbat which comes out on 15th February 2019 on Bella Union – it can be pre-ordered here: http://smarturl.it/Piroshka_Brickbat. The band will be touring the UK and Europe early next year, and you can follow the band on Twitter here: twitter.com/piroshkaband