‘Going, Going…’ is the title of the ninth studio album from UK indie legends The Wedding Present but, in typical Wedding Present fashion…it’s not a conventional release. ‘Going, Going…’ is out November 18th in North America via HHBTM Records, the album tells the story of a road trip across the USA, revealed across a collection of twenty ‘linked’ songs, each with an accompanying short film. ‘Going, Going…’ is the first double album the band has released. Take a listen to Two Bridges via Soundcloud below.
Formed in 1985, The Wedding Present are one of the UK’s most longstanding and much-loved indie bands with eighteen UK Top 40 hit singles to their name. The Fall’s Mark E. Smith, in his northern-ness, his cantankerousness, is one of the few peers who can match David Gedge’s longevity, but Smith drifted into schtick years ago and has never made a record as open-hearted as this.
The album tells the story of a road trip across the US—or more accurately, the accumulation of thoughts collected during a road trip—over the course of 20 songs, each with its own accompanying short film. The music is literally cinematic, in many cases written while looking at photographs & film recorded during the journey.
Road trips allow the mind to drift. They give you time to think. And ‘Going, Going…’ is more contemplative, more spiritual than anything they’ve ever done. If The Wedding Present have always been heard as a hyperactive frenzy, a torrent of emotion, ‘Going, Going…’ is where they take a moment to reflect. And what they’ve ended up finding is even more terrifying. Adolescent dread is intense, but it’s the dread that comes w/middle-age that hits the deepest—the knowledge that monsters are real, and death isn’t a tragedy—that it’s as natural as the weather and every bit as inevitable.
The lyrics are still as incisive (incisive as in creating an incision) as ever. Gedge points fingers everywhere—at himself & everyone in the room. ‘Going, Going…’ is an album that sounds like it was made under great psychological distress, like if these songs didn’t get written then there might never be any more songs ever. The album’s theme gets clearly laid-out on Fordland. I’m crossing time zones like it’s going out of style / Pretending that I know / Exactly what I’m doing with my life, meanwhile / I’m terrified of tomorrow.
The album propels from one bittersweet rush to another. There’s the hyperactive Secretary, the brutal irony in the chorus of Kill Devil Hills as our protagonist, after nearly half an album of equivocations & self-doubt, describes himself as ‘a man who knows what he wants.’
It all builds to the epic finale of Santa Monica, from Maine all the way to California, from emotional desolation to a cautiously optimistic ending. As the singing ends and the guitars swell, swept away on several minutes of instrumental calm, it feels as if we’ve come full-circle, only now the wordlessness is the product of satisfaction. The album title hints that this could be the end, and if so, what a lovely way to say goodbye.
Released in the UK two months ago on Scopitones, HHBTM is handling the US release, which comes out this November . The UK press is raving, and soon so won’t we all.
The Wedding Present are also excited to announce a 13-date tour of North America, where they will be supported by indie pop star Colleen Green.
Tour dates April 2017
14 : Washington, DC – Rock And Roll Hotel
15 : Brooklyn, NY – Bell House
16 : Boston, MA – Great Scott
17 : Montreal, QC – Bar Le Ritz PDB
19 : Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
20 : Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
21 : Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
22 : Minneapolis, MN – Turf Club
25 : Seattle, WA – Crocodile
26 : Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
28 : San Francisco, CA – Independent
29 : Los Angeles, CA – Echo
30 : San Diego, CA – Casbah