Oozing lyrical sophistication and classic guitar-pop chops, The Wave Pictures seize 2022 by the horns with the release of a new track and a fabulously retro-feeling animated video. It’s magnificent.
‘Flight From Destruction‘ is from the forthcoming double album, ‘When The Purple Emperor Spreads His Wings’. Each of the four sides is being made available at seasonal intervals in the run up to the full release. The ‘Autumn’ side of the album was released towards the end of last year and ‘Flight From Destruction‘ is the last track from the ‘Winter‘ side.
Described as, “A classic Wave Pictures in E Minor, running along in the style of ‘Sultans of Swing’ by Dire Straits… At heart a Velvet Underground chug in a minor rather than a major key.” The lyrics were co-written by Sam James, an unsung underground songwriter who teaches English Literature to kids in Brooklyn and writes hundreds of songs in his spare time. ‘Flight From Destruction‘ tells the tale of a starving pirate, trapped on his ship and lost at sea. Whether metaphorical or autobiographical this song exists in the realm of pure poetry.
Not sure the ‘Sultans of Swing‘ influence is entirely obvious but maybe there’s something of Edwyn Collins and early Orange Juice, The Monochrome Set or even Lloyd Cole and the Commotions in this track. Useless comparisons aside, did I mention it was magnificent?
The video is the second of four seasonal videos for the forthcoming album, and this one is by Nina Garthwaite, artist, documentary radio & film-maker, teacher & curator. “As this song is for the Winter side of the album I started out with some shadow-puppet style paper cutouts and then moved into black paint and printing ink. Some of it was then photocopied onto coloured card à la early Wave Pics CDRs.” Song and video work beautifully together.
Charting their own course since 1998, The Wave Pictures are astonishingly prolific, utterly idiosyncratic and adored by a loyal fan base. It’s hard to really do them justice in a short review. Magnificent might just cover it.