UK-France electronic rock duo The Noise Who Runs presents ‘Beautiful Perhaps’, the anthemic first track from their imminent ‘Preteretrospective’ LP, scheduled for release on April 7. This follows ‘These Will Be Your Gods’ EP, released in January, and ‘High Time in Lo-Fi’, their third EP released in mid-2022.
The Noise Who Runs is the project of songwriter and performer Ian Pickering, best known as a member of and songwriter for 90s British trip hop outfit Sneaker Pimps, having co-written such hits as ‘Spin Spin Sugar’, ‘6 Underground’ and ‘Tesko Suicide’. Over the past two years, he has churned out this new album while also working on the new Sneaker Pimps album
Hailing from Hartlepool in the north-east of England, Pickering launched this project in 2019, three years after relocating to Lille, France. Today, The Noise Who Runs is a duo of Pickering with Brazilian-born French guitarist Felipe Goes.
‘Beautiful Perhaps’ sets the lyrical tone for the whole album (the narrative seeks redemption, this is a picture book version censored to fiction as the demons pull us apart), the lyrics being the strongest ties binding its various musical styles and influences. Wonderfully poetic, hard-edged, clear-sighted but abstract, this music veers between brutal honesty and cynicism, optimism and realism in a tirade of social commentary from life at the thin end of the wedge.
“There’s a reason that ‘Beautiful Perhaps’ is the first single and also the first song on the album. It sets the tone for everything The Noise Who Runs is about,” says Ian Pickering.
“My truth, that’s got nothing to do with anything. People need to stop selling their truth, their subjective complaints and petty outrages. First and foremost, I was a journalist, therefore, I deal in facts and I think as a general overview of the state of society and of humanity (not just this century but eternally) – this is as honest as you’re gonna get. And it hits the nail squarely and firmly on the head. The truth isn’t pretty but it has to be accepted before anything I describe in the song can be addressed. That’s what’s beautiful – perhaps.”
The Noise Who Runs is a direct, literal translation of ‘O bruit qui cour’, a French phrase meaning ‘gossip’. It was also the name of Pickering’s favourite restaurant, where the ideas for this project fell into place. With live performances delayed due to Covid lockdowns, the duo instead released two EPs in 2020 (‘The First of Two Sides of a Double-headed Coin’ and ‘The Other Side of the Same Double-headed Coin’).
The Noise Who Runs’ essence lies chiefly in the shared principles and approach to making music of punk/new wave and early hip-hop – in terms of the mentality and the message. Musically, TNWR’s indie rock is heavily shaped by the 1970’s experimental electronic scene in Sheffield, the 1990’s guitar-house mix of the Manchester scene, Primal Scream’s guitar-electronic sound after 1997’s ‘Vanishing Point’, and 2000’s XTRMNTR.
Pickering’s role in Sneaker Pimps is rooted in a lifelong friendship with founding member Liam Howe and Chris Corner, who had also taught Pickering to play his first song on acoustic guitar. Having written and worked with Howe and Corner on various projects throughout their teens, he became Sneaker Pimps’ lyricist shortly after they recruited Kelli Dayton for the debut record ‘Becoming X’.
As of February 14, the ‘Beautiful Perhaps’ single is available via Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and elsewhere. The full ‘Preteretrospective’ album will be released on April 7.
Written by Ian Pickering
Produced by The Noise Who Runs
Recorded, engineered and produced by Claudio Spural (Mauco Records)
Additional production, mixing and mastering by Colin Cameron at The Cell Studios
Felipe Goes – electric guitars and keyboards
Ian Pickering – vocals, electric guitar and keyboards
Artist photos by Théo Valenduc
Other images created by Ian Pickering with additional photography and video clips courtesy of Dreamstime
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