How Public Service Broadcasting Tells The Future Using The Past
Public Service Broadcasting playfully teaches history via mixed media, combining archival stock footage, propaganda films and their own propulsive music. Every Valley, the band's forthcoming third album, tells the tale of coal mining in South Wales and how its industrial collapse serves here as a melancholic metaphor for global unease. Based on research and interviews of townspeople from the region, Every Valley will tell its tale through electronics, drums, guitars and much-needed humor.
In an email, founding member J. Willgoose Esq. tells me that the song "Progress," which we're premiering today along with its video, is "a playful look at a serious and pertinent topic — mechanization and its true place in the 'progress' of humanity. What's certain in my mind is that this album isn't just about mining and isn't just about Wales. It's a story reflected in abandoned and neglected communities across the western world, and one which has led to the resurgence of a particularly malignant, cynical and calculating brand of politics."
"Progress" is a knowing nod to Kraftwerk, especially in its bass line and the Vocoder within its chorus. Willgoose writes that, since "the song itself nods quite heavily to Kraftwerk, we also thought it'd be nice to make the video a similarly respectful doff of the cap in their direction."
Usually, Public Service Broadcasting relies on narrators sourced from historical footage to act as the "lead singer," but on Every Valley they've expanded upon that template, with a number of special guests, including two of Willgoose's musical heroes — James Dean Bradfield from Manic Street Preachers and, on "Progress," Tracyanne Campbell from the Scottish band Camera Obscura.
Every Valley will be released July 7. Full track list below:
"People Will Always Need Coal"
"Progress" (ft. Tracyanne Campbell)
"Go To The Road"
"Turn No More" (ft. James Dean Bradfield)
"They Gave Me A Lamp" (ft. Haiku Salut)
"You + Me" (ft. Lisa Jên Brown)
"Mother Of The Village"
"Take Me Home"
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.