A masterclass in nuanced, nostalgic pop beamed-in from another era, the track is the Brighton duo’s first release of 2022 and hints to a band with the brightest of futures.
Balancing deceptively complex arrangements with a playfully colourful narrative, think Todd Rundgren teaming-up with the Alessi Brothers for a re-imagination of The Beatles’ “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da”.
Coupling that maturity of sound with lyricism wisened by mistakes perhaps they’ll never make, latest single “A Perishing of Cherished Things” finds Barbara experiencing something of a mid-life crisis, far before their time has come. As Barbara explain:
“‘Perishing…’ is sort of about a mid-life crisis. Not that we’ve experienced one… yet! Almost no one ends up having the life they imagined for themselves when they were young. We thought it would be nice to have some characters - Wendy and Sharon - and that it might help to tell the story a little better (like Desmond and Molly in ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’). And they’re not particularly unhappy or anything. They’ve got kids and go on lovely holidays. They just sometimes wonder how things might have turned out differently…”
Though told with a technicolour imagination and wry sense of humour, “A Perishing…” is ultimately a song about what-ifs and what-could-have-beens; and those unshakeable feelings that so often come hand-in-hand with ruminations on opportunities passed.
“It’s a sort of low level regret that you can’t quite shake.” Barbara add. “I think everyone feels it from time to time. Because life just isn’t perfect. Not very rock and roll, I know!”
Produced by esteemed Paul Steel (once praised by The Guardian as “the second coming of Brian Wilson”), the track is a lavishly retro sounding record, resplendent with swelling west-coast harmonies, primitive synthesiser sputters, and star-spangled guitar lines straight out of the 1970s.
Barbara’s third collaboration with Steel, it follows previous singles “These New Communications” and “BRB” released last year.