As we face down the increasingly real prospect of Brexit an Englishman based between the UK and Berlin, a city already keenly aware of the impact of borders both internal and external, is better placed than most to write a gloomily romantic electro-rock torch song on the subject – and here we have just that.
Musically Mark Fernyhough’s latest single Divided Cities is a close relative of his earlier dramatic melancholia like Berlin, The Human Eye and Steal My Love but with the addition of a grittier, more urban, electronic edge first introduced on last year’s single Sidewalks and it’s fantastically dark and druggy sounding b-side Favourite.
The track is accompanied by an chic and suitably international video starring French artist Camille Schaeffer, Belarusian
synth player Julia Runova and Polish/German
electro drummer Agata D’mon. Shot amongst the imposing architecture of the German capital it captures the bittersweet relationship between the cities we inhabit and how they inhabit us.
Divided Cities also comes backed by a brilliant (and single-worthy in it’s own right) b-side Edge of Town – a hooky little beast inspired by ‘fantasising about the ghosts, decadence and demons which lurk within the darkness of the forest at the end of the garden’ and which has a more guitarsey, gothically uptempo feel. Easily as good as its parent track it’s more of a double A side really, if such things still existed in the digital age.
ARTIST: Mark Fernyhough
TITLE: Divided Cities
MOOD: Romantic political gloom
With shades of 80s alt-electro mixed with infallibly hooky melodies and torch-song vocals, Mark Fernyhough’s new single Sidewalks is something that feels current but not slavishly wedded to trends. Similarly the low-fi glamour of the night-lit streets of Berlin in the accompanying video has a timeless, edgy cool.
Although his previous release Nouveau (a collaboration with guitarist Steven Horry) was a slightly more upbeat pop sound than many of his previous tracks, Sidewalks sees him moving further again into a new electronic, and dare I say it kind of funky direction.
The B-side Favourite is spacey, spooky and dark with a Jan Hammer / John Carpenter edge. Unapologetically unusual it’s exactly the kind of gem you hope to find in a b-side, and although it’s a pretty striking departure from his usual sound it’s an entirely successful one I think.
ARTIST: Mark Fernyhough
Fantastic, stylish and super cool new track ‘Nouveau’ released today by Mark Fernyhough and Steven Horry accompanied by an equally cool and colourful video featuring an awesome gang of Berlin roller girls.
ARTIST: Mark Fernyhough & Steven Horry