Dutch Uncles have released their new single “Poppin’” – the second track to be lifted from the band’s long-awaited sixth album, True Entertainment, out 10th March 2023 on Memphis Industries.
Named after the original demo of the track (as is tradition for one song on each of Dutch Uncles’ previous albums), “Poppin'” was primarily composed by the band’s guitarist and synth player Peter Broadhead and was partly inspired by Talking Heads’ Brian Eno-produced albums.
Speaking on the lyrical inspiration behind the new single, vocalist/lyricist Duncan Wallis said:
“Poppin’ is a minimal take on the age-old anxieties, dread and fear we all experience at certain times – bumping into old faces hungover (or worse, not hungover), taking too long to answer the question ‘you alright?’, forgetting everyone’s name and constantly assessing if old faces were present at any moments of particular cringe in your past.”
Taking inspiration from Yellow Magic Orchestra, Prince, Steely Dan, Ennio Morricone, The Blue Nile, Kate Bush and Roxy Music, new album True Entertainment is the long-awaited follow up to Big Balloon (2017) and features guest vocal contributions from Metronomy’s Anna Prior and Everything Everything’s Jonathan Higgs.
Sharing new insight into the new album, Wallis commented: “True Entertainment is a soundtrack for the pursuit of anonymity within ever-changing societal norms, and the trappings that come with it. Those trappings are presented in a series of life-changing scenarios and epiphanies that include: abandoning one’s identity and accepting one’s generation as a useless vessel; to suffering for betterment and dealing with challenges from other generations.”
True Entertainment bears some of the most delightfully fun Dutch Uncles music to date; paired with some of their most existential and introspective lyrics. [“What is success? Am I enough? How can I better? (and can I even afford to be better?)”]
The album’s title was a DJ name bestowed upon Wallis by guitarist Peter Broadhead. Wallis, an in-demand DJ and compare in his native city, wrote the acid house and Sign O’ The Times-era Prince-influenced title track when reflecting on the awkwardness he sometimes feels when he’s recognised as the singer in a band while working one of his many public-facing jobs.
While bassist Robin Richards remains Dutch Uncles’ principle composer, the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 prompted other members to contribute musical ideas: the result being their most collaborative album to date.
“We embraced our inherent silliness during the recording process,” Richards added. “If a sound made us laugh or smile it usually stayed on the track. The collaborative approach to True Entertainment allowed us to experiment with sounds, textures and harmony that we haven’t used before.”
This enhanced level of collaboration is evidenced further by Henry Broadhead and Neil Wright (live synth player and live guitarist, respectively) stepping up to production duties alongside the band themselves. Henry Broadhead also mixed the album with Andrew Proudfoot, and it was mastered by Matt Colton (Pet Shop Boys, Christine And The Queens et al).
Dutch Uncles most recent full length album Big Balloon spawned three playlisted singles on BBC Radio 6 Music and enjoyed widespread acclaim from the likes of Uncut (“a high flying triumph” 8/10), The Guardian (“its songs barge in with urgency” 4*), The Quietus, DIY, Exclaim!, Q, Under the Radar and many, many more.
Dutch Uncles are Andrew Proudfoot (the drums), Duncan Wallis (vocals and piano), Robin Richards (bass) and Peter Broadhead (guitar, synth and electronics). They are joined live by Henry Broadhead (synth and percussion) and Neil Wright (guitar).
Dutch Uncles‘ new album True Entertainment is out 10th March 2023 via Memphis Industries. New single “Poppin'” is out now. Dutch Uncles tour the UK in March/April 2023.