A New International release a new single, ‘Drunk is a Holiday’.
It follows a single from October, ‘Swirly‘. That song began life in 2009 with frontman and chief songwriter Biff Smith rediscovering the track in 2020 and finalising it from its original half-formed demo version.
‘Drunk is a Holiday’ is the next track to be taken from the band’s forthcoming sophomore long-player ‘Lost and Later Songs’, a collection of new material recorded under the pandemic-era lockdown conditions of 2020.
However, the new single dates even further back into the band’s pre-history, with frontman Biff Smith recalling the melody of the chorus coming to him during a hangover around 1996.
“The TV series of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ was being repeated on Saturday evenings around then,” he remembers, “and I remember staying in to watch it over the course of several weeks. It helped to keep me off the booze.
“My favourite scene was the one with Sebastian and Charles, lounging by a fountain and sipping champagne in a decidedly louche manner. After their minimal, yet solemn exchange, as quoted above, which felt like some kind of pact or vow, Sebastian falls into the fountain with a bottle of champagne.
“I remember applauding the telly at that bit. I, too, wanted to fall into fountains with bottles of champagne. Unfortunately, I was on the dole at the time and my limited means meant opportunities for such indulgence were few and far between.
But picking up the guitar, the songs and all that – that was free.”
A verse followed ten years later, but an eventual recording going no further than demo form – “I presume the song must have been deemed too cheerful for the last Starlets album in 2009,” Smith says, recalling his previous act, who recorded three albums for the Stereotone and SL labels.
The Glasgow-based six-piece – Smith, plus Caroline Evens, Craig Laurie, Mark McSwiggan, Steph McGourty and Jo Shaw – completed the final version of the song in the summer of 2020, allowing Smith to add on its release: “If there are any time-travellers reading this, may I ask a small favour? Should you happen to be passing through 1996 any time soon, could you please pass on a message to my former self, if he’ll listen? Please tell him that future Biff asks that he be of good cheer. Tell him he finally finishes that song that he started. Tell him that he hasn’t given up, that he’s still trying to keep his promise.”
‘Drunk is a Holiday’ is available as a download, or to stream for free, now on Bandcamp, and will appear via the other usual suspects later in the year.