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Modern English Tease Forthcoming Album With Political Single ‘Not My Leader’

Modern English will release a new LP, 1 2 3 4, on Feb. 23. The release marks the British group’s first new music in eight years and was produced by Mario J. McNulty. They’ve previewed the album with a searing new single, “Not My Leader,” which takes aim at political leaders on both sides of the pond.

“I remember first coming to America in the early-’80s,” singer/guitarist Robbie Grey explained in a statement. “We had Margaret Thatcher and you had Ronald Reagan. And then fast forward to today to Donald Trump and all the politicians and corporate organizations that have followed — along with their corruption and greed. It’s the same thing 40 years later, really. It’s the same old shit that makes the ordinary person feel sick. ‘Not My Leader’ is a song against those people.”

Grey and bassist Mick Conroy started working on 1 2 3 4 during the spring of 2020 while on lockdown. Conroy set up a temporary home studio in Suffolk, England, and drew inspiration from the first Siouxsie and the Banshees album and David Bowie records featuring Mick Ronson as they were writing. The band eventually recorded the album in a residential studio in upstate New York with a focus on live takes.

“We wanted some edge to it,” Grey noted. “Live drums and getting the feel of moving from verse to chorus with everyone playing. It sounds like a live album.”

He explained that the album’s overall lyrics reflect Modern English’s longterm sensibility. “For me, as a lyricist, it’s always about personal journeys, or the journey of the band, or just getting pissed off with governments and politicians,” he said, adding, “It’s been a big journey for everybody, and our early days are really important to us. We haven’t changed that much. We’re still the same people inside.”

1 2 3 4 follows Modern English’s 2016 effort, Take Me to the Trees. In 2022, the group celebrated the 40th anniversary celebration of their 1982 album After the Snow, which featured hit single “I Melt With You.”

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The band will support 1 2 3 4 with select tour dates with the Buzzcocks in the U.S., Mexico, and Germany in March and April. The band will also perform as part of the inaugural Totally Tubular Festival across North America in June and July. The 17-date trek will also feature Thomas Dolby, Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, Men Without Hats, The Romantics, Bow Wow Wow, Tommy Tutone, and the Plimsouls. Full tour dates and ticket information are available on the band’s website.

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