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Making Pet Shop Boys: Electric

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What started out as a possible electronic side-project soon became Pet Shops Boys: Electric… By John Earls

pet shop boys electric
Pet Shop Boys: Electric

According to Neil Tennant, Pet Shop Boys have twice written the perfect pop song. Few fans would dispute Being Boring as one of them; the other, intriguingly, is Vocal, a piece Tennant cites as a song that could carry on indefinitely without ever, er, being boring. Not only is it sublime, it’s also a key moment in the arc of Pet Shop Boys’ career.

Along with Electric’s opening song Axis, Vocal was written during the sessions for Elysium; Indeed, it is the only song the Pets have ever previewed live before its release. Not only that, but it ended the shows on the Pandemonium tour instead of traditional set-closer Go West, which was a ballsy move.

So if Elysium was designed to contrast to its poppy predecessors Fundamental and Yes, Electric was a reaction to the melancholia of Elysium. In fact, Electric was made partially in response to a fan review.

Neil Tennant has admitted to googling his band’s name every few days to keep up on what information is in the public domain; after a YouTube comment on Elysium said people wanted “more banging and lasers”, Tennant told Popjustice: “We thought ‘Alright, then! More banging and lasers – here it comes!’” 

The idea of covering The Last To Die from Bruce Springsteen’s 2007 album Magic might seem to follow the anti-rockist stance of their demolition of U2’s Where The Streets Have No Name, but the pair actually love the song.

It was the idea of Chris Lowe’s sister Vicki, who played The Last To Die to him thinking it’d make a good Pets Shop Boys cover. “We immediately started doing a version of it,” Tennant told Wow 247. “We thought the guitar riff would make a great synth riff, but it actually ended up being a vocal riff.”

Read more: Pet Shop Boys: Actually

Read more: Making Pet Boys Boys – Yes

A similarly unlikely move came with Example’s appearance on Thursday. His part was initially going to be taken by a Nicki Minaj sample, but producer Stuart Price was working with Example at the time and it seemed obvious to get the London rapper in to see what he could do.

Love Is A Bourgeois Construct takes its title from a line in David Lodge’s 1988 novel Nice Work. It was their most audacious marriage of full-on dance and detailed storytelling since Left To My Own Devices, and Lowe summed up its approach to Wow 247: “It’s got a giddy-up bassline, which we haven’t had for a while”.

17th century baroque composer Henry Purcell gets a co-writing credit because his opera King Arthur was sampled on Michael Nyman’s 1982 minimalist classic Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds – the real inspiration for Love Is A Bourgeois Construct.

That song was going to simply be called Bourgeois, which explains its position in the tracklisting of Electric: note how the rest of it is in alphabetical order. Bizarrely, that’s also the order the songs were recorded in, at Stuart Price’s insistence.

Price’s first musical memory was of “taping my Sony Walkman to my BMX so I could listen to Pet Shop Boys at all times”, and he got his first keyboard so he could learn how to replicate Chris Lowe’s parts.

Before he got to work with the duo, Price became a successful dance musician under the aliases Jacques Lu Cont and Les Rythmes Digitales. Überfans working with their heroes can often lead to complications, but in the case of Stuart Price, the duo felt it was a totally natural fit. 

Price considers Electric to be a spiritual heir of Disco, telling Spin: “Disco blended song arrangements with dancefloor mixes; Electric allows songs to be full-length without considering the pop rules.”

It’s been such a successful relationship that Pet Shop Boys’ biggest gripe seems to be that Price insists on having daytime TV on too loud during recording.

Enjoy this article on the making of Pet Shop Boys: Electric? Then check out our feature on their classic album Very

Check out the Pet Shop Boys website here

 

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Watch “Mistress Violet” by Violet Chachki and Allie X

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RuPaul Drag Race Series Seven winner Violet Chachki and Allie X first teamed up on the Canadian alt-pop singer-songwriters 2016 track “All The Rage“. A spicy offering where Violet role-played as Allie X’s alter ego in the Jungle George and Maluko Haus visual. Perhaps it has always been inevitable that these artists would at some point come together again. Anyways, the six-year wait has flown by. I am more than happy to see their next joint effort, unapologetically decked out in 80s inspired couture. As much as the track “Mistress Violet” heavily features synths, robot pop and vaporwave stylings.

When these two artists collaborate together, it is broadly assumed they will kit themselves out in high fashion garments. Couture looks are everything for these two (in this instance, Schiaparelli). The sharper the clothes, the better, as long as there is a designer tag attached. The track “Mistress Violet” has acutely provocative tendencies. It is like a duel between two personalities. As to who gets to be the dominant half of the powerfully commanding, musical coupling. They spar with one another, but really, neither are about to submit because the thrill exists in seeing how far these bitches can push each other.

Listen on Apple Music

As far as the song goes, the synths appear similarly modelled in vintage Kraftwerk or David Sylvian like stylings. There is a strong sense that there is a penchant for all things avant-garde. The nostalgia vibes and aesthetics are strong. Everything about “Mistress Violet” screams peak 80s. And I have absolutely no problem with any of that. Make no mistake, this collab is Violet Chachki and Allie X having the best of fun. While indulging in complete escapism. Hands down, an empowering serve.

Connect with Violet Chachki
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VioletChachkiOfficial/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VioletChachki
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/violetchachki/

Connect with Allie X
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alliexxxxandra/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alliex
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alliex/





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Watch “Till It Hurts” by JORDY

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It seems every song JORDY releases blows up on TikTok these days. He has become one of the TikTok famous, but I was interested in the music before all of this started. So feel I did my duty as a music blogger/ tastemaker in getting the EQ readers involved super early. Ahead of the curve, it would seem. Fact! I have become a bit of a serial offender when it comes to writing about him. Purely because he has found his lane. (Striking similarity to Troye Sivan and Lauv). Also, he has not put a foot wrong yet. (Sorry to pile on the pressure). There is a reason for the increased pace of recent single releases. The debut full-length album arrives in September. To this end, JORDY is sharing with us one last summer ready bop. “Till It Hurts“.

The track is written about self-acceptance. Understanding our flaws and embracing our uniqueness.

“I think we all feel like we’re hard to love sometimes”. He says. “I’ll go out of my way to love someone else so fiercely that I’ll forget to love myself”. Further adding, “Till It Hurts” is me owning all of my flaws and insecurities while also recognizing my capacity and ability to love someone else unconditionally. Even if it hurts.”

Listen on Apple Music

Because the pop culture of the 80s is never far from my mind. My initial thoughts on the “Till It Hurts” music video instantly had me picking out lots of comparability to the movie musical GREASE. (Yes, I know the film was released in 1978, making it not strictly 80s. but it started the trends which followed into the 80s.) In his latest bout of soul-searching, JORDY revisits a high school campus. He dances among the bleachers the same as John Travolta did in the movie, (well sorta). And sings out loud in front of the lockers as Britney did for the “Baby One More Time” video clip. The only way to look at the “Till It Hurts” video is with a good dose of nostalgia. If you are in the mood for reminiscing about your school days, then watching JORDY in this music video is sure to jog some memories.

Most of all, we are treated to another fine example of his unique spin on pop music and a finely, honed sense of songcraft.

Connect with JORDY
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialJORDYmusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jordysongs
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jordymusic/





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Listen to “Slip Away” by Meet Me In Orbit

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Like most musicians, San Francisco based synth-pop duo Meet Me In Orbit have not been idling away the last year and a half. With much of the live performance sector of the music industry closed down. (Due to the effects of the pandemic). They have instead filled the time working hard. Refining their already slick synthy sound while also getting a new EP ready for launch later this year. The duo whose style I have previously likened to Roosevelt, The Sound Of Arrows and Satin Jackets. Get us ready for the onslaught of new material by sharing the first track lifted from the forthcoming EP. A sparkling, widescreen cinematic offering. “Slip Away“.

This kind of synth-pop sounds great when streamed but even better when experienced in a live capacity. As the whole experience is more of an immersive one, and feelings become more intense. And this was the intention, completely, of Meet Me In Orbit with what they are hoping to evoke in “Slip Away“.

Listen on Apple Music

Saying “with “Slip Away,” we wanted to explore the claustrophobia of desperately yearning for something but having no clear sense of what that thing is,” the duo explains. “It’s a song about the ways we tend to craft our inner-dialogue around autobiographies that are themselves constructed of little lies and self-deception. In the end, that’s what nostalgia itself is–the overwhelming desire to go back to a time and place that never really existed in the form, we’re, yearning for.”

Being forced into lockdown really did see this duo diving into their feelings. Where they have embraced pondering about escaping the delirium brought about by the pandemic. They focus on transporting themselves and us out of the lows, the fears and anxiety. With an offering that is both transcendental and otherworldly. Meet Me In Orbit’s thoughtful lyrics cut deep while the production has a warm mesmeric charm. From mysterious otherworldly swells. the sonic soundscape Meet Me In Orbit creates is lovely to fall into. As similarly, it also feels great to completely indulge and devour a super fudgy chocolate brownie. Made with decadence and served warm drizzled in chocolate sauce. While I must address my downfall of lockdown comfort eating. I will do so while enraptured in bliss listening to the synthpop masterpieces of Meet Me In Orbit.

Connect with Meet Me In Orbit
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meetmeinorbit
Twitter: https://twitter.com/meetmeinorbit
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meetmeinorbit/





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