The 2010’s have seen a festival’s worth of typically-pegged Eighties acts come back swinging with some of the best albums of their careers. In addition to crackling new discs by Animotion (already out), the Godfathers (out this Friday) and, kid you not, Right Said Fred, the early months of 2017 see the release of Modern English’s first album in 30 years, one that was well worth the wait. Take Me To The Trees was funded by PledgeMusic and hits shelves on February 24th via Kartel Music Group.
The modern incarnation of Modern English has a surprisingly strong lineup of original members, four out of five: vocalist Robbie Grey, bassist Mick Conroy, guitarist Gary McDowell and keyboardist Steven Walker. They reunited for a tour in 2010 and got along famously. “It was like the intervening years hadn’t happened,” said Conroy via a press statement, “and the old songs still sounded as good.” Ideas for new songs soon came into form “… some from jamming in a room, like we used to do,” said Grey. “We looked at each other, just laughing. It was amazing.”
The album also sees co-producer Martyn Young of Colourbox and M/A/R/R/S fame taking on his production job since 1986. The album’s cover (see below) is by art director Vaughan Oliver, whose very first sleeve design was Modern English’s “Gathering Dust” single in 1980 before he went on to craft artwork for many of the iconic 4AD releases (Lush, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, the Breeders, etc.).
As part of the pre-release celebration, Popdose proudly premieres the track “I Feel Small”:
And let’s not forget one of many of the other reasons why we melted for Modern English in the first place…
The featured band photo (above) is by Mike Hipple Photography.