‘Anthologised By Cherry Red’, the new video from Spray, gives a human feel to the new model for the pop anthem by adding electronic elements with a quirky feel and soulful vocals courtesy of Jenny McLaren. Adding colorful visuals in the form of the video adds paint to the canvas that this anthemic summer future-hit sets for into the frame.
British synth band and self-styled indie-pop chameleons Spray have announced their forthcoming single ‘Anthologised by Cherry Red’, which is slated for release on May 11.
Founded in 2001, Spray is comprised of Ricardo Autobahn (synthesizers) and Jenny McLaren (vocals, guitars), both formerly of the Cuban Boys, who took their chaotic technopunk to number 1 on the Festive 50 (twice), recorded one of the best Peel Sessions ever and went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard in a Christmas Chart Battle (but ultimately lost). Their hit single ‘Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia’ (a.k.a. ‘The Hamster Dance Song’) sold a million copies, reached number 4 in the UK single charts, landed them on Top of the Pops and, in the words of John Peel, was “the most requested song I’ve had since ‘God Save The Queen’.
In a mathematically constructed list presented by RockListMusic.co.uk, the Cuban Boys registered as the 30th most popular band in the history of the John Peel Show, ranking ahead of the Inspiral Carpets (31), The Cure (34), Nirvana and The Stone Roses (=tied at 35). BBC producer Mike Engles selected the Cuban Boys’ first Peel Session as one of his top 10 all-time favorites, alongside Nirvana, The Damned and Ivor Cutler.
‘Anthologised by Cherry Red’ came about after a chat Ricardo Autobahn had with a fellow musician. When asked what he was currently up to, he uttered the beautiful phrase “oh, I’m at that stage in my career where I’m being anthologized by Cherry Red”. A lot of Spray’s inspiration and ideas come from everyday comments and this went straight to the band notebook.
“The song is not a critique of Cherry Red as we’re actually big fans of the label. It’s more a straightforward story song about a fading rock band finding success in their twilight years,” says Jenny McLaren. “It’s also an observation about the state of the music industry. If the business is based on catalog reissues, where are the catalog reissues of the future going to come from?”
Spray’s music is influenced by Sparks, The Buggles, DEVO, Pet Shop Boys, the KLF, Chvrches, and The Big Moon.
“This is spiky, new-wave electronic pop with a sense of humor. But we take our sense of humor very seriously. We aim for big choruses and funny lyrics, disco beats, and deafening synths,” says Ricardo Autobahn. “We try and write songs about things that aren’t normally written about in pop. There are enough songs now about love and cars, we try and go beyond that”.
Following the demise of the Cuban Boys, Autobahn and McLaren formed Spray, turning their attention toward synthpop and releasing their debut album ‘Living In Neon’ in 2002 on U.S. indie label Ninthwave Media. This was followed by ‘Children Of A Laser God’ in 2006, which included their smash cover of Lisa Lougheed’s ‘Run With Us’ (also ‘The Raccoons’ theme song).
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Spray was the secret weapon behind the UK’s 2006 Final at Eurovision for Daz Sampson ‘Teenage Life’, having written and produced it, as well as singing the treated vocals for that track. Ricardo Autobahn and Daz Sampson would also collaborate on a dance version of ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ under the name Rikki and Daz, recording it with the legendary Glen Campbell himself and filming its expensive video in the Arizona desert. This track went top 10.
Spray also recorded a novelty track as the Barndance Boys called ‘Yippie I Oh’, which became a top 30 hit. Under the moniker, The Attery Squash, Ricardo’s track ‘DEVO Was Right About Everything’ was remixed by Devo themselves. More recently, Spray recorded music with anarchic BBC star Hacker T. Dog.
Ricardo Autobahn writes music for TV and radio, which can be heard from BBC4 to ITV2 and from Australia to the USA. He also plays keyboards with Welsh punk-pop legends Helen Love, also known for their collaboration with Joey Ramone.
Throughout all of this, the duo has continued to record their verbose off-kilter indie-disco synthpop. Later on this year, Spray will release their fifth studio album, whilst undertaking their first live shows. ‘Anthologised By Cherry Red’ is the first material to be released, reflecting the band’s archetypal sound – a celebration-of-all-things-pop tinged with cynicism, despair, and the band’s ironic humor.
Spray ‘Anthologised by Cherry Red’ will be released on May 11 across all the standard online music stores and streaming platforms.
“Anthologised by Cherry Red taps into the very heart of what made synthpop a juggernaut for almost two decades…it’s fresh, it’s fun, and it’s an excuse to dance your cares away. It also shows that Spray hasn’t lost a bit of their verve, crafting a near perfect pop gem that’s an earworm and a half. I dare you to listen to it only once…you can’t do it!”
“A refreshing approach to the old style electronica… a masterful dance gem”
– The Electricity Club
“A synth-drenched dream from start to finish”
“If you’re in search of well-crafted dance-pop music that will appeal for a wider audience and make your friends dance during a warm Saturday night garden party, Spray will be your best friend”
– Side-Line Magazine
“Utterly ridiculous genius”
“One of the best modern synthpop bands in the world… big huge sound… a godsend”
– Chain D.L.K.