Liverpool’s rejuvenated songsmiths Candy Opera present their new single ‘Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green’. A carefully crafted, country-esque ballad that perfectly expresses Candy Opera’s new sound for 2021, reflecting on all our yearnings with openness and candour, this song has all the sensibilities of a classic ballad.
This is the second single from their new album ‘The Patron Saint of Heartache’ (released on November 30), 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.
As with the first adrenalin-fuelled single from the album, ‘These Days Are Ours’, this reflective look at adversity was mixed by Grammy award-winning producer Guy Massey and recorded at Liverpool’s Elevator Studios and mastered by Pete Maher (Barry Adamson, The Alarm).
“The song is about trying to find a pathway through life and the realisation that the waters will always be muddied but, with determination and desire, the human spirit can pull through and flourish,” says singer-songwriter Paul Malone.
“We all chipped in on filming the video… a big challenge in the pandemic! The water scene is a depiction of change from the old Candy Opera to the new… a kind of baptism or rebirth representing where we are now as a band”.
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).
Following the overdue release of two archival sets – ’45 Revolutions Per Minute’ and ‘Rarities’ (released in 2018 by Firestation Records – 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.
‘The Patron Saint of Heartbreak’ 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 here, from the knockabout naïve rockabilly of ‘Hashtag Text Delete’ 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 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.
‘The Patron Saint of Heartache’ LP is available on limited-run green vinyl or limited-run black vinyl, CD with booklet, and digital download. It is available everywhere, including Bandcamp.
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