Tanks / UK Official Albums Chart /
A lovely day tomorrow?
As I write, the new album from the rock group Sea Power is at number one in the midweek UK albums chart. – on their own and totally independent record label. And funded by the band’s amazing audience. Meanwhile, Russian tanks enter contested territory on the eastern edge of Ukraine. At Sea Power HQ it seems a striking juxtaposition – striking because this Sea Power album, Everything Was Forever, takes its name from the book Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. This 2006 work by Alexei Yurchak looks at Russia in the period when Glasnost ushered in astonishing change. In time, this change became interwoven into the current tension on the Russia-Ukraine border.
Sea Power alighted on the title Everything Was Forever because it seemed so charged with powerful, bittersweet ambiguity. Everything was forever… And now it’s gone? Or can we come back from the perilous position our world now occupies?
Yes, you might say, but why are you telling us all this here? Here in a public address that, we guess, is about to ask us to buy this Sea Power album – and help in a perhaps forlorn attempt to keep it at number one in the UK Official Albums Chart. Well, yes, we are going to ask that. But, beyond the perhaps pleasing novelty of keeping a band like Sea Power at number one, we argue there’s a broader perspective. Even in the worst times, art can help – if it’s good enough. Ask, for example, the Russians whose spirits were lifted by Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony in 1943. We’re not claiming Everything Was Forever is the rock Leningrad Symphony. But we are claiming it’s popular song that merits attention right now. You could call it “late period elliptical-harmonic rock music”. Your correspondent very much likes this album. He is far from alone. I mean, have you read the reviews?
Uncut: “A blasting comeback… soaring pastoral symphonies… grand emotional vistas” 8/10 • NME: “A brutal but beautiful album that we can all relate to right now” **** • Irish Mail On Sunday: “Their eight album will win the battle for you heart and mind” ***** • Hot Press: “Songs that brim with heartache and wonder, choruses that detonate like tear-filled fireworks” And there are many more exultant reviews for this record…
So, yes, we are going to ask you to buy this album – and join us in a perhaps forlorn attempt to keep it at number one.
You can buy it as a download here, for £5.99:
You can buy it here in a multitude of formats and coloured vinyl:
In buying this music, you would help a weird and wonky ensemble stay up there, atop the chart. You would also acquire music that seems fitting right now. The tracks Two Fingers and Folly are at the rock end of this album’s spectrum, a contrast to the sci-fi landscape compositions elsewhere. Folly comes with a video by Sea Power’s Hamilton, a video greeted by Bait director Mark Jenkin as a “masterpiece”. It’s an open-ended protest song – that takes in our “right to roam”, our “right to breathe.” It features the couplet “Everything was forever / Until it was no more.” But it concludes, “One morning you are gonna wake up in a different world.” You can read that two ways – I choose to read it with a smile, with a note of hope.
These videos can be viewed here:
TWO FINGERS VIDEO:
SALES NOTE Go on, give it a try. Buy this rock record. Get yourself some music that makes February 2022 seem a little more interesting, maybe even makes you feel a bit defiantly optimistic. And maybe helps us stay at number one…
Roy Wilkinson, Sea Power manager c.1995 – 2005.
Above narrative written on 22 Feb 2022.
PS. You may by now, definitely be thinking, “Yes, Bono, yes! But what do we do next, Bono?!” If I may be so bold, you can do what your correspondent does in such times. He has already bought the Sea Power record – and now he will be attempting to save the world, donating a bit of money to the impressive international aid charity Médecins Sans Frontières: