Through the Dark Side (Big Stir Digital Single No. 12)
For the twelfth BIG STIR DIGITAL SINGLE, we are delighted to help THE NEWDS (of Bolton, England) celebrate their 20th year as a band and herald the impending release of their new album with "Through the Dark Side" b/w "Drawing a Line"! The single will be released Friday, January 11, and is available for preorder now.
THE NEWDS are best known to the American pop crowd as perrennial highlights of the Liverpool Edition of the International Pop Overthrow Festival, with one of the most engaging frontmen around, PAUL MEAGHER. Their sound is rooted in Merseybeat, informed by a love of Love, and steeped in the tradition of spiky British rock as purveyed by the likes of The Kinks, The Jam, and Graham Parker. But their tale goes back farther than that.
Originally formed at Art College in 1999 by Meagher & Dean Woods with "very much an art school band ethic", the band has passed through various lineups before landing on the current three guitar lineup, with Meagher, Woods, and Paul Crompton joined by Daniel Garthwright on drums, Tony Sabanskis on keys, and Kieran Schofield on bass. That's the version that's making their twentieth year their busiest yet, completing the forthcoming album Drawing a Line, embarking on a series of gigs revisiting old haunts, and even hoping to have a second, more acoustic-based album on the shelves before the year's end.
Both sides of the single are drawn from the Drawing a Line sessions, described as "experimental" but song- and melody based and produced with some consultation with LA's Mike Randle (of Baby Lemonade / Love Revisited renown). "Through the Dark Side" appears here for the first time; the forthcoming album's bracingly self-effacing title track previously graced an IPO compilation and gets to shine on its own here as the B-side.
UK rock journalist Austin Collings sums up the band's appeal: "It’s as if THE NEWDS have stumbled across a musical jumble sale and they’ve picked up the threads of melody dropped off by the obvious greats like Harry Nilsson, Simon & Garfunkel, Lennon and Heather Mills’ ex-husband and the other one who funded Withnail & I... But still this doesn’t quite get to the heart of the matter, the simple joy and point of who they are and what they’re trying to do. It comes down to personal courage, and Paul and co. have it in spades.Their music is like finding a twenty quid note on the street when you’re completely borassic, or hearing the laugh of the girl you’re in love with, or having a lie-in when you should be at work or school; small pleasures all, but small pleasures that define most of our lives."