Public Service Broadcasting announce new album ‘The Last Flight’

Public Service Broadcasting
Photo Credit: Alex Lake

Public Service Broadcasting today announce their fifth studio album, The Last Flight, for release on 4 October 2024 via their new label home, SO Recordings. 

The Last Flight concerns the final voyage of America’s pioneering female “aviatrix” Amelia Earhart. In 1922, aged just 25, Earhart flew higher than any woman before her, and in the years that followed she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, setting multiple speed and distance records. In 1937 she announced that she would circumnavigate the globe in her Lockheed Model 10-E Electra aircraft. She crossed the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. She left Papua New Guinea to fly to Howland Island in the Central Pacific but never made it, instead ascending to the level of myth reserved for the bravest adventurers.

The Last Flight is similarly full of life-force, evoking adventure, speed and freedom as well as the psychological depths of a unique and admirable individual. Recorded in the band’s southeast London studio, with one day for strings at The Church in north London with the London Contemporary Orchestra, The Last Flight’s guests include Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket on Eno-esque pedal steel, Berlin voices Andreya Casablanca and EERA who both appeared on Bright Magic, as well as This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables. Listeners may be surprised that the album does not feature original first-person testimony, but dialogue newly recorded by actors, including Kate Graham who read Amelia. This was then sensitively manipulated to give thirties sonic characteristics and distortion. Earhart’s first-hand writings including 1937’s Last Flight was used as a start point, along with the biography East To The Dawn by Susan Butler.

Speaking about the album, the band’s first studio album since 2021’s Bright Magic, J. Willgoose Esq. said “I wanted to do a woman-focused story, because most of the archive we have access to is overwhelmingly male. I was initially drawn in by Earhart’s final fight, rather than the successes that she had, but the more I read the more I became fascinated by her. Her bravery and her aeronautical achievements were extraordinary, but her philosophy and the dignity that she had… she was an outstanding person.

The final flight is the spine of the journey: the story jumps off at different points, and examines different facets of her personality, her relationship with her husband, her attitude to flying, her attitude to existing. She gave herself, I think, less than a 50% chance of survival when she flew the Atlantic alone. To put yourself, willingly, in those situations… I think it says something about that drive at the heart of humanity.

However The Last Flight isn’t doom-laden or covered in grief. There’s adventure, freedom, the joy of being alive. The reason why she wanted to fly was to find the beauty in living – ‘to know the reason why I’m alive, and to feel that every minute.’ The flight did fail, but she was right. Of all the people we’ve written about, I have the deepest respect and admiration for her.”

To coincide with the announcement, the band has shared the album’s first single, “Electra”, a song of soaring machine funk and a paean to Earhart’s aircraft. Speaking about the track, which was premiered yesterday by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6 Music, J. Willgoose Esq. said: “The song is about Amelia Earhart’s plane, the marvellously named Electra. To match the name, the vibrancy and the excitement of the aircraft, the track is full of pulsing electronics and interlocking, percussive melody lines, plus pace.”

Watch the video for ‘Electra’ directed and produced by Yes Please Productions – BELOW:

Following their one off, sold out performance of Every Valley at Durham Cathedral with the 38 piece NASUWT Riverside Brass Band last Friday as part of Durham BRASS Festival, Public Service Broadcasting today announce an Instore / Outstore tour for album release week in early October (tickets here). The four-piece will also open for Manic Street Preachers at Trentham Live in August. They have a full UK and European tour scheduled for October and November 2024, with shows at Manchester Albert Hall, Bristol Beacon and Roundhouse in London already sold out. Live dates and the newly announced Instores/Outstores are listed below. Tickets are available here.

Summer 2024

Sat 17 Aug – UK, Staffordshire, Trentham Live, Trentham Estate (w Manic Street Preachers)

Instore/Outstore tour (tickets here):

Fri 4 Oct – UK, Leeds, Crash – daytime – Store – signing only

Fri 4 Oct – UK, Manchester, Piccadilly – evening – Outstore at Night & Day

Sat 5 Oct – UK, Liverpool, Jacaranda – evening – Outstore at The Baltic

Sun 6 Oct – UK, Southampton, Vinilo – evening – Outstore at The Brook

Mon 7 Oct – UK, Bristol, Rough Trade – evening – Outstore at Strange Brew

Tue 8 Oct – UK, Kingston, Banquet – evening – Outstore at Pryzm

UK + European tour:

Wed 16 Oct – UK, Glasgow, Barrowland

Thu 17 Oct – UK, Aberdeen, Music Hall Aberdeen

Fri 18 Oct – UK, Manchester, Albert Hall (SOLD OUT)

Sat 19 Oct – UK, Leeds, O2 Academy Leeds

Mon 21 Oct – UK, Gateshead, The Glasshouse International Centre for Music

Tue 22 Oct – UK, Nottingham, Rock City

Thu 24 Oct – UK, Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre

Fri 25 Oct – UK, Cambridge, Corn Exchange

Sat 26 Oct – UK, Bristol, Bristol Beacon (SOLD OUT)

Mon 28 Oct – UK, Cardiff, Cardiff University, Great Hall

Tue 29 Oct – UK, London, Roundhouse (SOLD OUT)

Wed 30 Oct – UK, Brighton, Brighton Dome

Thu 31 Oct – UK, Aylesbury, Friars Aylesbury at The Waterside Theatre

Sat 2 Nov – Ireland, Dublin, 3Olympia Theatre

Sun 3 Nov – UK, Belfast, The Telegraph Building

Mon 4 Nov – Ireland, Cork, Cyprus Avenue

Sun 10 Nov – Netherlands, Amsterdam, Melkweg (Oude Zaal)

Mon 11 Nov – Belgium, Brussels, Ancienne Belgique Club (SOLD OUT)

Tue 12 Nov – Germany, Cologne, Club Volta

Wed 13 Nov – Netherlands, Groningen, Vera

Thu 14 Nov – Germany, Hamburg, Knust

Sat 16 Nov – Norway, Oslo, Blå

Sun 17 Nov – Sweden, Stockholm, Kägelbanan

Mon 18 Nov – Denmark, Copenhagen, Vega

Tue 19 Nov – Germany, Berlin, Columbia Theatre

Wed 20 Nov – Germany, Munich, Ampere

Thu 21 Nov – Switzerland, Zurich, Mascotte

Sat 23 Nov – Italy, Milan, Arci Bellezza

Mon 25 Nov – Spain, Barcelona, La Nau

Tue 26 Nov – Spain, Madrid, Sala Copérnico

Wed 27 Nov – Spain, San Sebastian, Dabadaba Club

Fri 29 Nov – France, Paris, Petit Bain

 

Public Service Broadcasting
The Last Flight

4 October 2024

SO Recordings

Tracklisting:

I Was Always Dreaming

Towards The Dawn

The Fun Of It (ft. Andreya Casablanca)

The South Atlantic (ft. This Is The Kit)

Electra

Arabian Flight

Monsoons

A Different Kind Of Love (ft. EERA)

Howland

 

Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast.Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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