I interviewed J. Willgoose, the brains of archive rock outfit PSB, early last year. On future projects he said ‘something interesting‘ was in the works. With the announcement of their upcoming album, they turn away from The Race for Space, and instead look to…South Wales. ‘Interesting’ was an understatement.
Public Service Broadcasting struck a nerve with their debut Inform-Educate-Entertain, an ambitious work that melded guitar rock with a narrative of a bygone Britain told entirely through samples. It’s a quirky style that brought an eclectic fan-base of history geeks and rock fans. Their follow up The Race for Space was the best album of 2015.
Willgoose announced album three with a tumblr post. The album is called ‘Every Valley’ and traces the rise and ultimate destruction of coal mining in the UK. Not exactly Rock’N Roll on paper, but I suspect PSB will bring their sparkle to the project.
Why Wales? In his post (go read it, it’s amazing) he suggests some of it might come from the fact their UK tour lacked any Welsh dates, to the ire of PSB loving Welshmen everywhere.
Whilst on it’s face the concept lacks the drama and enormity of a topic like the Space Race or the Second World War, the more I think about it, the more I like it. The story of coal is the story of class, of the working class and their conflict and struggle. Like the Space Race, it’s a topic that’s beginning to be brought back into the public consciousness. In a bitterly divided Post-Trump, Post-May and Post-Brexit world it’s a timely tale.
Only the core concept of the album is currently known, with single ‘Progress’ giving us a taster of it’s sound. The song itself suggests that PSB may be looking to work with some vocalists, mixing them in with their beloved samples. It worked well on ‘Valentina’, after all.
‘Every Valley’ is out in July, so then we’ll know for sure. PSB play two very special dates in Ebbw Vale in June, as well as a show at the Electric Ballroom. It’s certainly enough to get us excited, especially with further gig announcements expected. In the meantime, check out new single ‘Progress’, and get hyped.