Sometimes it takes a while to realise what you’ve got. So it goes with pop craftsmen Candy Opera, who emerged during Liverpool’s 1980s musical golden age and whose new album ‘The Patron Saint of Heartache’ sees them release their first collection of new material in nearly three decades. This long-awaited debut album is being released via European / UK label A Turntable Friend Records.
Mixed by Grammy award-winning producer Guy Massey and featuring back vocals by Paul Simpson of The Wild Swans, the track was recorded at Elevator Studios in Liverpool.
This album captures the essence of Candy Opera’s infectious energy and celebrates life with a genuine wonder-lust, whilst delivering the excitement of their live performances.
There is a musical and spiritual depth and breadth on this long-play, from the knockabout naïve rockabilly of ‘Hashtag Text Delete’ to the heartfelt country-esque ballad ‘Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green’, from the adrenalin-fuelled pop sensibility of lead track ‘These Days Are Ours’ to the quiet acoustic reflection of ‘Freedom Song’. It is clear that every song has been painstakingly crafted in order to earn its place in this body of work. This album holds a mirror up to the lives people lead and all the triumphs and heartaches endured. This is the sound of Candy Opera now. Sing Hallelujah.
Following the overdue release of two archival sets – ’45 Revolutions Per Minute’ and ‘Rarities’ (released in 2018 by Firestation Records., quickly selling out of their first runs) – their new album ‘The Patron Saint of Heartache’ picks up where the band left off, with 14 fresh songs ready for discovery of a sound as timeless as any Candy Opera output.
Candy Opera were formed in Liverpool in 1982 and went through various incarnations before calling it a day in 1992. By 1985, the band had played alongside the likes of The Pogues, The Go-Betweens and The Redskins, as well as appearing on Granada TV. Reviews in NME, Sounds and Jamming magazine followed.
The band’s current line-up is drawn from all eras of the band’s existence and features Brian Chin Smithers (guitar, vocals), Alan Currie (drums), Frank Mahon (bass), Paul Malone (vocals, guitar), Ken Moss (guitar) and Gary O’Donnell (keyboards, vocals, percussion).
This new LP also features a swathe of friends and contemporaries, including Paul Simpson (The Wild Swans) and Phil Jones (Afraid of Mice). The result is an exquisite piece of pop craftsmanship that brings their songs into the light. This is a labour of love born of experience, but retaining the sense of wonder that brought the band together in the first place.
As of November 20, ‘The Patron Saint of Heartache’ LP will be available on limited-run green vinyl or limited-run black vinyl, CD with booklet, and digital download. It can be obtained directly from the band via Bandcamp.
Lyrics – Paul Malone
Music – Brian Chin Smithers, Alan Currie, Frank Mahon, Paul Malone, Ken Moss, Gary O’Donnell
Additional backing vocals – Paul Simpson
Mixed by Guy Massey at Fluff Studio, London
Mastered by Pete Maher
Produced by Candy Opera
Album cover design by Paul Malone / images courtesy of Paul Simpson
01. These Days Are Ours
02. Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green
04. Start All Over Again
05. See It Through Your Eyes
06. Five Senses, Four Seasons
07. Real Life
09. Freedom Song
10. Hashtag Text Delete
11. Rise (If That’s What People Want)
13. Gimme One Last Try (Bonus Track)
14. There Is No Love (Bonus Track)
Photos by Steve Hines
“When Candy Opera first appeared on the kaleidoscopic early 1980s Liverpool music scene, by rights they should have changed the world” ~ Louder Than War
“Very welcome news as a highly underrated band who is now back with a force. While their previous output is stellar, this new single is even more commanding of attention. This is absolutely stunning, the band reaching higher than ever before” ~ Big Takeover Magazine