A Brief History of Modern English

Modern English are excited to start their upcoming U.S. headline and festival appearances for the fall. Kicking off Saturday, August 26 at Evolution Festival in St. Louis, MO, the tour will visit numerous markets across the midwest, east coast and south through Saturday, September 30 when the band will appear as part of Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach, VA. The upcoming appearances come on the heels of the band’s widely talked about performance at Cruel World Festival in Los Angeles, CA in May and the recently completed recording of its forthcoming album produced by Mario J. McNulty (David BowieLou ReedNine Inch Nails).

Recorded at Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY in the fall of 2022, directly after months of touring, Modern English’s highly anticipated forthcoming album will see an early 2024 release. Performed and recorded together in live sessions, the new album’s aim is to capture the energy of the band’s live show and harks back to the sounds, raw energy and post-punk passion of its Mesh & Lace days. With a touch of subtle themes lifted from After the Snow and Ricochet Days that include the environment, aging, failed relationships, love and more, the new collection finds the legendary band delving into nostalgia but, as always, exploring new creative territory. Stay tuned for more information on the forthcoming album to be announced soon. 

Simply put, “I Melt With You” by the legendary British rock band Modern English is one of the most iconic songs of the New Wave era. It garnered heavy rotation on the then-thriving Modern Rock radio format, MTV and dance clubs across the globe, and was prominently featured in the classic 1983 film Valley Girl, starring a young Nicolas Cage. 

On 1982’s After the Snow, the band’s sound evolved from the dark, moody and challenging post-punk found on its debut, Mesh & Lace, to a more commercial and radio friendly mix of synthesizers, guitars, catchy drum beats and singer Robbie Grey‘s unmistakable vocals. As the title suggests, the icy sound featured on Mesh & Lace melted away on After the Snow to reveal more concise and potent songs, highlighted by “I Melt With You” which brought the band up from the underground to the mainstream. It’s a song so popular that the band was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 BMI Awards for seven million plays on radio. After the Snow was produced by the acclaimed Hugh Jones whose production credits include albums by Echo and the Bunnymen, Simple Minds, The Damned and many more, and the LP was released on the legendary 4AD Records in the UK and licensed to Sire Records in the U.S. 

Formed in Colchester, England, the band self-released its first single on its own Limp Records label prior to signing to 4AD, home to such like-minded acts as Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. Laying the foundation for future musical movements such as goth and industrial, Modern English would gain the attention of renowned BBC DJ John Peel, who featured the band twice on his program. 

Modern English would record various records over the years, including Take Me To The Trees, an album that reconnected the band to their youth, in the fervent and fecund world of late 1970s/early 1980s post-punk Britain. Given Modern English’s roots were post-punk icons Wire and Joy Division – dark and austere while still melodic and passionate – Take Me To The Trees is a return to the sound and vision of their very early work that even James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem has described as “a sneaky secret that everyone writes off, because they just think it’s going to be a ‘I Melt With You’ but it sounds way scarier than any Joy Division record [Mesh & Lace].” 

Most recently, Modern English issued After the Snow: Live From Indigo at the O2, a 40th anniversary live collection featuring the songs from the album on CD, CD/DVD and digital, with a vinyl version that was made available exclusively on Record Store Day 2022. Extensive touring throughout the U.S. on various legs would lead to the band making its late-night television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as well as a performance on The TODAY Show in October 2022. 

After a brilliant performance at Cruel World, Modern English did in studio sessions for KCSN, in Los Angeles and KEXP in Seattle and helped open Atlantis, the sister venue to the legendary Washington DC venue 930. Their new single, “Long In The Tooth”, from their new album, can be pre-saved as it’s release is set for Sept 12, 2023. Sign up to the band’s newsletter for details on future singles and the new albums’ release.

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