Manic Street Preachers launch Orwellian single, announce new album and tour

Manic Street Preachers
(Image credit: Alex Lake)

Manic Street Preachers have announced a new album, The Ultra Vivid Lament. It'll be released on September 3, and is the follow-up to 2018's Resistance Is Futile. 

The band have also released a new single, Orwellian, which, the say, "echoes ABBA, the majesty of Alan Rankine’s playing in the Associates, and Talk Talk’s It’s My Life with a Lindsey Buckingham guitar solo."

They continue: "The track is about the battle to claim meaning, the erasing of context within debate, the overriding sense of factional conflict driven by digital platforms leading to a perpetual state of culture war... It felt like the perfect sonic and lyrical introduction to The Ultra Vivid Lament."

Guest singers on The Ultra Vivid Lament, which is the first Manics album initially conceived on piano rather than guitar, include Mark Lanegan and Julia Cumming from New York rockers Sunflower Bean. It was recorded over the winter in Wales at Rockfield in Monmouth, and at the band's Door to the River studio in Newport.

There are exclusive signed copies, picture disc vinyl and cassettes of The Ultra Vivid Lament available from the Manic Street Preachers store, an exclusive version of the vinyl with alternate artwork available at HMV, and a yellow vinyl variant on sale at Amazon.

The Manics have also announced a series of UK dates, which kick off on September 26 at Newcastle City Hall, and climax on December 3 at London's Wembley Arena. Support comes from The Anchoress.

The newly announced tour is in addition to the dates the band have already confirmed, which include two NHS shows at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena in July. The first night will be free for NHS workers, while the second will raise funds for NHS Wales charities. These shows were originally slated for December last year.

The band say: “We wanted to do something to show our appreciation, love and respect for the NHS and its amazing brave workers. One free show and one fundraising show seemed the best way for us to express our deep gratitude for all their heroic work.”

Manic Street Preachers UK tour 2021

Jul 16: Cardiff Arena (NHS workers show)*
Jul 17: Cardiff Arena (NHS public show)*
Jul 30: Pikehall Y Not Festival*
Aug 07: Linlithgow Party At The Palace*
Aug 29: Alcester Camper Calling Music Festival*
Sep 10: Halifax Live at Piece Hall*
Sep 18: Jersey Electric Park Festival*
Sep 26: Newcastle City Hall
Sep 28: Edinburgh Usher Hall
Sep 29: Dundee Caird Hall
Oct 01, Stoke On-Trent Victoria Hall
Oct 02: Manchester Apollo
Oct 04: York Barbican
Oct 05: Glasgow Barrowlands
Oct 07: Leeds Academy
Oct 08: Portsmouth Guildhall
Oct 10: Bournemouth Academy
Oct 11: Cambridge Corn Exchange
Oct 13: Bath Forum
Oct 14: Bristol Dome
Dec 03: London Wembley Arena

* = Previously announced 

Manic Street Preachers - The Ultra Vivid Lament tracklist

1. Still Snowing In Sapporo
2. Orwellian
3. The Secret He Had Missed 
4. Quest For Ancient Colour 
5. Don't Let The Night Divide Us
6. Diapause
7. Complicated Illusions 
8. Into The Waves Of Love
9. Blank Diary Entry 
10. Happy Bored Alone
11. Afterending 

Manic Street Preachers - The Ultra Vivid Lament

(Image credit: Columbia/Sony)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.