Manic Street Preachers on their “expansive” new album and James Dean Bradfield’s “electric” new solo record

The band have penned a new song called 'Orwellian'

Manic Street Preachers have revealed that their new album is heading in an “expansive” direction sonically, while frontman James Dean Bradfield is also releasing a solo album this year.

The band, who yesterday confirmed a deluxe reissue of their 1993 album ‘Gold Against The Soul‘, are currently at work on the follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed ‘Resistance Is Futile’.

Speaking to NME, bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire said that they were aiming for a summer 2021 release for their new record.

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“We’ve written one really brilliant Manics song called ‘Orwellian’,” Wire told NME. “We’ve demoed that and it feels like a bit of a signpost to where we’re going. It’s got a bit of an ‘If You Tolerate This’ retro-futurism about it. It’s our shining light at the moment.”

Asked about the sound of their new material, Wire revealed: “It’s very broad – it feels like an expansive record. ‘Resistance Is Futile’ certainly felt more tight and ‘pop’ in a Manics sense. Everything was really melodic and concise. This album just feels broader. It’s got a wider landscape, sonically. It’s early days, but ‘Orwellian’ feels like the one track to guide us. I wouldn’t call it a directly political song, but it has that element of the times that we live in.”

He added: “Lyrically, I’m just working things out. Since losing both my parents, I’ve been kind of overwhelmed at that situation. There’s a deep-rooted sadness and melancholia that overhangs everything.”

Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers (Picture: Alex Lake / Press)

The bassist also told us that frontman James Dean Bradfield was full of “electricity” and ideas during early sessions, which pushed him to write a new solo album with Wire’s brother, the celebrated poet Patrick Jones. Bradfield’s debut solo album ‘The Great Western’ was released in 2006. The follow-up is expected this summer.

“I was trying to write words and Sean and I were less engaged. James was bursting as he always is. My brother wrote all the lyrics for James’ album. Every time I came into the studio, he’d had another track done. His guitar is extraordinary on there. It’s like Alex Lifeson from Rush meets Johnny Marr. He put a lot of his electricity into that. I was more than happy for him to go on because I needed to take a bit more time over words really.”

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Wire added that he had also been working on a solo album of his own, and was considering releasing the follow-up to 2006’s ‘I Killed The Zeitgeist’ by fan request.

“All I’ve got to do is get 500 CDs made, print off a lot of polaroids and hand-make them all,” he laughed.

Check back soon for more of our interview with Wire. 

Manic Street Preachers’ deluxe ‘Gold Against The Soul’ reissue will arrive on June 12. Check out Wire discussing the legacy of the album and what to expect from the re-release here.

The band are gearing up for a run of festival appearances, as well as a summer of stadium shows supporting The Killers and Green Day throughout the UK and Europe.

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