Manchester-based quintet Soup! have re-emerged with “Supplies”, their first single of 2023.
Unfolding like a late-night run-in between retro-tinted jangle-pop and modern-day stark in a lively Northern Quarter backstreet, “Supplies” sees the fast-ascending five-piece further stake their place as one of the most compelling acts on the city’s burgeoning scene.
Putting a crisp and commanding spin on post-punk sprechgesang and veering further into synth-laden art-punk territory, the new track finds the band offering their two cents on the inevitable pitfalls of our poor life choices.
As vocalist Matthew Beswick explains:
“”Supplies” is about the frustration of watching someone close to you live their life in a way you know isn’t going to make them happy in the long-run, and also wanting them to come back to you but feeling selfish about it and questioning your own motivations.”
Popping with the nuanced character and colourful palette we have come to expect from Soup!’s releases, the band also cite a host of retro influences such as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Josef K and Factory Records heroes A Certain Ratio; all of whom are said to filtered into its heady brew of sounds.
Recorded at Airtight Studios in Chorlton with producer Seadna McPhail (The Orielles, Blanketman, Everything Everything), the track started out as an electronic cut with heavy drum samples, before mutating into a more fluid flurry of danceable guitars and hovering synths.
Drummer Ben Smith adds:
“”Supplies” was written in the summer of 2022 and initially came from a jam session. The synth line really took centre stage and was played as a lead part rather than as a textural element, so we built everything around that main hook. The end section was also very nearly a separate song… We were conscious it had a very different feel, as the first section was quite dancey and rhythmic and that last part was much more direct. We’d been using it as an outro as a placeholder and we were on the fence, but after playing them together live they became pretty much inseparable as the change of mood seemed to get such a great reaction.”
The band now known as Soup! began its boil in the adolescent fantasia of South Manchester. Within those grand locales, Matthew Beswick (vocals/guitar), Connor Riley (guitar) and Ben Smith (drums) nurtured their mutual love of classic punk, making pilgrimages into the city centre to go to gigs, and indulging in bedroom jams to the hits of Buzzcocks, The Clash and The Cribs.
After splitting briefly due to university, work and the mundane rigmaroles of life, the band of friends reunited in 2019 — bolstered by Hayden Gouveia (bass) and Rob Jones (keys/percussion) — and refocused their creative appetites.
Syphoning off the aesthetics of postmodern literature and the efficiency-ethos of Brutalist design, the quintet came to identify most prominently with the funked-up angularities of early indie labels including Postcard, Fast Product, Factory and Zoo. Heeding the teachings of these epochal heroes, Soup! have refreshed these sounds of the late ‘70s for a new 2020s crowd hungrier than ever for razor-edged, guitar-driven pop.
With “Supplies” landing as the band’s fifth single to date — hot on the heels of highly-praised earlier releases “Only Time” and “Daily Bread” — Soup! Continue to furrow their own path through the unrelenting tumult of contemporary post-punk, distinguished by their own erudite edge.
Gaining airplay on the likes of BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and Radio X, Soup! have been commended by the likes of NME, Louder Than War, So Young and Clash, with the latter drawing comparison to “those early Orange Juice singles on Postcard but with a burst of originality in its veins” and commending the band as “a refreshing alternative to the stodgy post-punk clogging up our airwaves.”