It’s been two decades since Soft Cell last released an album, but the influential synth-pop duo still provokes a huge amount of public fascination. News of their upcoming fifth studio set ‘*Happiness Not Included’ sparked international attention from the likes of XS Noize, Brooklyn Vegan, Clash, Classic Pop, NME, Pitchfork and The Quietus - in the process igniting a platform for them to add to their previous achievements: 25 million sales, six UK Top 10 singles and a BRIT Award.
Now Soft Cell - legendary frontman Marc Almond and producer/instrumentalist Dave Ball - share the album’s first official single, ‘Bruises On My Illusions’. The single is available now digitally, with CD and 12” vinyl singles available for pre-order.
‘Bruises On My Illusions’ possesses a baroque-meets-gothic ambience, with Dave Ball’s ominous yet dramatic synths supplementing the mood cast by Marc Almond’s evocative lyricism. Despite the pessimistic poetry of his words (“When every day is coloured in Soviet greys of sorrow / I’ll hold on to my blues”), the overarching message is to keep striving for brighter times ahead.
As Marc Almond explains, “‘Bruises On My Illusions’ is a mini film noir Soft Cell story about a disillusioned character with everything against him or her who still has hope for a better future, despite the odds. A darker ‘Bedsitter’. Dave’s ominous yet punchy defiant chords inspired the song.”
Dave Ball adds, “’One of our darker cinematic pop moments with a classic Marc Almond lyric.”
Bonus tracks on the single’s physical formats include ‘Bruises On My Illusions’ remixes from Dave Ball’s ‘other’ band The Grid plus Manhattan Clique, a ‘Nighthawks’ remix courtesy of Throbbing Gristle legends Chris & Cosey, and extended versions of album tracks ‘*Happiness Not Included’ and ‘Heart Like Chernobyl’ plus bonus track ‘Vapourise’.
‘Bruises On My Illusions’ amplifies the anticipation for the release of ‘*Happiness Not Included’ on February 25th 2022. It’s rich with the traits for which fans first adored Soft Cell: that distinctive and striking balance between light and shade, hope and despair, the personal and the universal. Changing perceptions of the passing of time are a recurring theme throughout. At various points, Almond explores the disappointment of a future that never materialised, reflects on his experiences at The Factory, expresses disillusionment at the modern media landscape, and comes to accept that life isn’t eternal.
Listen to ‘Bruises On My Illusions’ - BELOW:
Soft Cell first shot to prominence when their singular take on ‘Tainted Love’ raced up charts all over the world, including a two-week run at No.1 in the UK and a Top 10 position in the States. It sparked a stellar run of success which saw their first two albums, ‘Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret’ and ‘The Art of Falling Apart’, plus the ‘Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing’ mini album all crash into the Top 10.
The impetus for making a new album started with the phenomenal “final” show at The O2 in London in 2018. Emerging to a rapturous reception at the sold-out 20,000 capacity arena, Soft Cell’s extensive set covered all of the hits and fan favourites: ‘Tainted Love’, ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’, ‘Torch’, ‘Memorabilia’ and many more. What they had planned to be the end instead became a brand new start.
Soft Cell will be previewing tracks from ‘*Happiness Not Included’ alongside their greatest hits, as well as performing their seminal 1981 debut album ‘Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret’ in full for the first time in a series of live shows this autumn. The remaining tickets for the following dates are available here.
Wednesday 10 November 2021 GLASGOW O2 ACADEMY
Friday 12 November 2021 MANCHESTER O2 APOLLO
Saturday 13 November 2021 LEEDS O2 ACADEMY
Monday 15 November 2021 LONDON HAMMERSMITH APOLLO
Tuesday 16 November 2021 LONDON HAMMERSMITH APOLLO
‘Bruises On My Illusions’ CD tracklisting;
‘Bruises On My Illusions’ (album version)
‘Bruises On My Illusions’ (Manhattan Clique remix)
‘Vapourise’ (Dave Ball extended version)
‘Heart Like Chernobyl’ (Dave Ball extended version)
‘Bruises On My Illusions’ 12” vinyl tracklisting;
A1: ‘Bruises On My Illusions’ (The Grid remix)
A2: ‘Vapourise’ (Dave Ball remix)
B1: ‘*Happiness Not Included’ (Dave Ball remix)
B2: ‘Nighthawks’ (Chris & Cosey remix)