British synthpop electro duo Spray have announced they will be releasing their new album ‘Ambiguous Poems About Death’ on November 26 via Manchester’s Analogue Trash label. Ahead of this, they present the first track from the record – ‘Hammered In An Airport’, which kicks off these twelve tracks by encouraging you to get up and dance.
Much beloved siblings Jenny McLaren (vocals, guitars) and Ricardo Autobahn (synths) have built an enviable following of devotees to Spray’s brand of danceable and subversive indie disco pop since their debut ‘Living In Neon’ LP in 2002. They are also responsible for a smash cover of Lisa Lougheed’s ‘Run With Us’ (also ‘The Raccoons’ theme song). Their unique brand of oblique synth-pop is catchy as hell, both lyrically and musically, bringing them mainstream pop success in an alternate uni verse.
Spray’s musical DNA traces back to The Cuban Boys, who recorded one of the best Peel Sessions ever and went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard in a Christmas Chart Battle. 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”. They topped the John Peel Festive 50 Charts twice.
Spray was the secret weapon behind the UK’s 2006 Eurovision hit ‘Teenage Life’, written and produced with Daz Sampson, with their treated vocals used on the track. Ricardo Autobahn and Sampson’s dance version of ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ (as Rikki and Daz) with the legendary Glen Campbell went Top-10. More recently Spray recorded music with anarchic BBC star Hacker T. Dog and Ricardo also plays keyboards with Welsh punk pop icons Helen Love.
Spray is again ready to entertain us with their new long-player – their second with Analogue Track, following 2019’s ‘Failure Is Inevitable’. Jenny and Ricardo have used the intervening time wisely; writing, terrorising social media, working with puppets, and a number of live shows, including August’s first post lockdown live affair in Liverpool.
“In early 2020 we bought a Behringer TD-3, one of the company’s excellent Roland TB-303 knockoffs. We had an idea of putting out a quick acid house-style album in the summer, something short, spiky and electropunk. This did not come to fruition as like many, Spray found themselves locked down in separate locations, in their case on either side of Lancashire,” says Ricardo Autobahn.
“This album evolved into something a lot more elaborate as the pandemic went on. We tried not to write songs *about* the global situation because we figured everybody would be doing that, but the outside world couldn’t help seeping in,”
Undeterred by distance, recording and production duties were split between Spray Studio 1 (decaying, seen better days) and Spray Studio 2 (shiny, newly refurbished, sweet smelling) and the album took shape with the TD-3 employed in all the songs, somewhere.
Earlier this year, Spray released the single ‘Félicette (Space Cat)’, which is the second track on the forthcoming long-player “I bought wine that had cats in space suits on the front, as this is pretty much how I choose my wine. On reading the back of the wine bottle I discovered Félicette, who, in 1963, became the first (and only) cat who went into space and had been pretty much forgotten about in the history of space travel,” explains Jenny McLaren.