Secret Gang Handshakes release their third album, ‘The Viceroy Of Pure Joy’.

It follows previous long-players ‘Gravity Defiant’ and ‘The Damnation Chain’, as well as a brace of EPs, ‘We Go a-Waltzin‘ and ‘Spark Catcher‘.

It’s largely the solo work of Rob Flynn, formerly of Berwick-upon-Tweed act Won Mississippi, and also a respected playwright under the name RJ Flynn.

Including the recent single / title track, the new album is, Flynn says, based around woodwind composition (+souzaphone) and shades of EDM. “Like each preceding album, this one has its own instrumentation, style and tone: Album 1 was dark, gospel-tinged slowcore; Album 2 moved into a dark electronica with piano and strings.

“The idea of woodwind came about due to the idea of feeling suffocated by secrets and the thought of ‘just breathe, breathe easy’,” he continues.

“The tragedy of George Floyd and his immortalised final ‘I can’t breathe’ became a heavy influence on the protest song ‘Collapse’. The album is largely dealing with queer identity, sexual intimacy and relationships from the spark of their infancy to the darkling ends.”

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has put plans for a live show very much on hold. Eventually the album will be turned into a soundscape and performed as a one-hour impressionistic theatrical piece by Flynn and other musicians.

“I still haven’t decided if this is the stupidest idea I have had, but I’m enjoying the ride immensely even if no-one else ever does,” he adds.

‘The Viceroy Of Pure Joy’ track listing:
(Intro) – All Hail The Viceroy
01 – Viceroy Of Pure Joy
02 – Collapse
03 – Immortally Yours
04 – Someone Loved You
05 – Each Of Us Alone
06 – All Of Us United (ft Andy Combe)
07 – Apexx
08 – Pinhole Camera (Because)
09 – Wild Awake
10 – Bit
11 – And Now We Continue This Party Without You…

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