After having to recently cancel its summer North American 40th anniversary tour, legendary British band Modern English have shared a live version of I Melt With You filmed during quarantine. I Melt With You is one of the most iconic songs of the New Wave era. It had 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.
“We were all at our homes in the UK apart from Daniel [Jakubovic] who was in Los Angeles and decided to film I Melt With You to put a smile on people’s faces,” frontman Robbie Grey said. “We are aware of how much the song is loved and just thought a lockdown version would make people happy in these crazy times.” Watch the live performance of I Melt With You via YouTube below.
On 1982’s ‘After the Snow,‘ Modern English’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 drumbeats 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 honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 BMI Awards for five 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.
The band would record various records over the years, and most recently, they released its latest album, 2017’s ‘Take Me To The Trees,’ an album that reconnected the band to their youth, in the fervent and fecund world of late-Seventies/early-Eighties 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].”
Modern English will release I Melt With You as an exclusive 12-inch as part of this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, October 24 which will also include a B-side featuring Trees and Moonbeam from ‘Take Me To The Trees’. New ‘Mesh & Lace‘ and ‘After the Snow’ reissues featuring reimagined artwork by the late Vaughan Oliver are also currently available in LP and CD formats via Blixa Sounds here.