Contributor

Craig Wellington

The Sunshine Underground - Lead singer

A clean slate. That's where Leeds band The Sunshine Underground found themselves after parting ways with their management and then their bass player, Daley. Any walls of expectation or stereotype built over the course of two albums had dissolved and the optimistic trio of Craig, Stu and Matt saw that the space for creativity was actually bigger than ever. "Musically, there were no limits, and it forced us to write songs in a different way" explains Craig (the band's lead singer), "We were excited by the idea of moving things around."

Four years of touring, writing and recording passed before the band released their 2010 sophomore Nobody Is Coming To Save You. Their trademark explosiveness was still evident, but this was a more rhythmic and patient affair, with tracks like ‘Here It Comes’ and ‘We’ve Always Been Your Friends’ showcasing a distinct artistry in the band’s songwriting. Another four years have passed since then, and now they return. And it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard from TSU.

"We wanted to make an electronic sounding record" recalls Craig, and in one statement a pipe dream they had harboured for years had the potential to be realised. But, to achieve this, they had to change everything. "We had always expressed ourselves in a band format: two guitars, a bass and everyone writing songs around the drum kit. It was time to get our heads around production and beat programming. Nobody had set roles in the band anymore." Guitarist Stu adds, "it felt like the weapons in our musical arsenal had grown massively in recent years and it was exciting to start applying them."

The Sunshine Underground return on 19th May with their highly anticipated third album. Produced by Ross Orton (MIA, Arctic Monkeys), The Sunshine Underground, is a reinvention of sorts, a refocusing on their first love - electronic music. The overall result is an album nobody would have expected. A clean slate and self-titled purposefully to hit home this feeling of identity, the hard beats and glittering synths mix with The Sunshine Underground's original dance-punk origins to create an almighty collection of contemporary electronic songs. It’s been eight years since their explosive 2006 debut Raise The Alarm - a dance-punk record described by The Guardian as “every bit as jerkily compulsive as The Rapture’s House of Jealous Lovers” - surfed the new rave wave into the UK’s wider consciousness. The cultural permeation spread even further when Sony released the album in Japan. Two sold out tours resulted in a cult following of which the quite bizarre stories include boxes of Yorkshire tea being regularly waved in the air at gigs.

August 17, 2017
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