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(Credit: Alex Lake)

Manic Street Preachers share ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ with Sunflower Bean's Julia Cumming

Manic Street Preachers - 'The Secret He Had Missed'
7.4

Over the last 30 years, there are very few bands that have proven to be as reliable as the Manic Street Preachers. The Welsh icons have done it again with their new single, ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ – which features Sunflower Bean’s Julia Cumming – and sees the band serve up a slab of 1980s pop.

The vocals from Cumming and Nicky Wire combine lusciously, with the gloriously nostalgia-soaked ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ unashamedly sounding like a blast from the past. The conversational aspect of the track helps enhance the narrative which, somewhat bizarrely, is about a 19th-century born Welsh painter. That topic alone proves that Wire and Cumming’s heavenly vocals could make anything enticing.

“It’s probably the most Abba-influenced track on the album, the piano track especially,” Wire told NME. “It all came out really naturally. It’s what we would call pop in our world – that glacial kind of controlled energy that comes out in something melancholic, but uplifting.”

The sibling relationship between Augustus John and Gwen John was the main influence for Wire. He commented: “It’s about by how opposite their lives were. Augustus John was bohemian, reckless, amazingly talented but some might say wasted his talent. Then Gwen John was much more about the interior world, living an almost nun-like existence in France with very little possessions. It just goes to show how different it can turn out between a brother and sister.”

Their fourteenth studio album, The Ultra Vivid Lament, arrives on September 3rd. It will be the band’s first LP since 2018’s Resistance is Futile and is shaping up to be another classic Manic’s record.

Although this track verges far closer to the world of pop by their previous exploits, it’s not a contemporary pop song by any means. It fits comfortably within the mould they’ve been operating in for the last 35 years, and I’m not complaining about that one bit. Their reliability is what has given them such lasting longevity, and ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ might not be breaking any new ground, yet, there’s a great warmth to be uncovered within its familiarity.

Stream the song, below.

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