Manchester band Blanketman announce release of new single
- New release Beach Body out next Tuesday
- First new music since March's Taking You With Me
- No live promotion for single because of covid-19
Manchester post-punk outfit Blanketman announced the release of their upcoming single via social media.
Beach Body will be available on all streaming platforms from next Tuesday.
It follows on from March’s Taking You With Me, Blanketman’s debut label release (the band signed to PIAS last year) that arrived to lift spirits in the early stages of lockdown.
A beguiling disco-inspired record, the simple yet sudden guitar riff grabs listeners’ attention and hooks them in for the two-and-a-half-minute run time, through precocious lyrics of dying youth and an inescapably catchy call-and-response chorus.
Clearly, the song’s innocent hopefulness chimed well with listeners during the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic; Taking You With Me has since amassed over 13,000 plays on Spotify.
Speaking with Blanketman’s Daniel Hand at Manchester bar and venue YES, he talked of the release of the single.
“It was touch-and-go at times whether we were actually going to release it,” he said.
“It wasn’t clear it could get any promotion on the radio as, at that time, everything across the world was so uncertain.”
The fourpiece’s last pre-lockdown show was a co-headline with the Lounge Society on 13 March at the YES Basement. Hand feels fortunate to have played as late into the pandemic as they did.
He said: “When you think that lockdown happened less than two weeks after that show, it’s crazy to think how much everything changed in such a short space of time”.
Hand is proud to have not had to cancel. He himself was set to see Australian synth-indie group the Stroppies play Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club in May before the tour was indefinitely suspended.
The 21 year old became the guitarist for what was later to become Blanketman when he responded to an ad posted by frontman Adam Hopper on the website Join my Band in 2017.
Hand says that he “just knocked on his door one day” and that the two “instantly clicked”. The lineup was completed with the additions of bassist Jeremy Torralvo-Godoy and drummer Ellie-Rose Elliott. Hopper and Hand share song writing credits, and their contrasting yet complementary styles could not be more evident in their two singles.
The Hopper-penned Taking You With Me, with its almost dreamlike overtones, shows the vocalist’s affinity for groups like the Cure. Beach Body, a Hand number, with a grungier driving beat, displays the guitarist’s lifelong love of artists such as the Fall (Torralvo-Godoy actually shares a house with the Fall’s Steve Hanley, though this is nothing more than a coincidence).
The songs have been a cornerstone of the band’s live shows for some time now and are a popular pick amongst the loyal fanbase. On Beach Body, Hopper’s vocal crescendo as he reaches the chorus, backed by Hand’s frantic guitar, make for a hyper-energetic fan favourite and an obvious choice for the band’s sophomore single.
However, there will be no live promotion for Beach Body anytime soon.
Hand said: “It’s been a blow for us as a band with a largely local fanbase not being able to gig. Obviously for the fans we want to get back out there, but for me personally, I wouldn’t want to return to gigging until we could do it properly, without social distancing or masks.”
The Reading-born guitarist also spoke about Gorilla and the Deaf Institute, two Manchester venues that were recently saved from permanent closure by big money investors following a period of closure.
“We’ve seen this before in Manchester,” he said.
According to Hand, while it is great that the venues were saved, he wishes there was a more community-directed way of doing so, one which maintains the original vibe whilst being able to operate in this new and altered environment.
“I’m just worried it will ruin the whole ethos of gigging and nights out in Manchester,” he said.
Blanketman contributed to a crowd-funding scheme to save the Peer Hat from administration, another of their preferred venues. However, the prospect of new investors conjures up the usual concerns of corruptability and selling-out, and it’s easy to see how one would be worried about the integrity of the venues’ reputations.
“As has been said hundreds of times by this point, no one knows what’s going to happen. We’re just happy to be back in the studio and recording, with exciting stuff around the corner for us.”