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Modern English

Modern English is a paragon of consistency. Formed in Colchester, Essex, England, the band have maintained their same core lineup since 1977: vocalist Robbie Grey, guitarist Gary McDowell, bassist Mick Conroy, and keyboardist Stephen Walker. In recent years, Modern English have become widely respected as post-punk innovators, thanks to younger generations discovering their catalog and new artists citing the band as an influence. This increased popularity has translated to sold-out tours performing their early albums and a main stage appearance at the 2023 Cruel World Festival in front of more than 25,000 people.

Recorded at Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY, directly after months of touring, Modern English’s highly anticipated forthcoming album titled 1 2 3 4 , will see an early 2024 release. Performed and recorded together in live sessions, the new album’s aim is to capture the energy of the band’s live show and harks back to the sounds, raw energy and post-punk passion of its Mesh & Lace days. With a touch of subtle themes lifted from After the Snow and Ricochet Days that include the environment, aging, failed relationships, love and more, the new collection finds the legendary band delving into nostalgia but, as always, exploring new creative territory. Stay tuned for more information on the forthcoming album to be announced soon.

In 1979, Modern English self-released its first single on its own Limp Records label prior to signing to 4AD, home to such like-minded acts as Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. Laying the foundation for future musical movements such as goth and industrial, Modern English would gain the attention of renowned BBC DJ John Peel, who featured the band twice on his program.

On 1982’s After the Snow, the band’s sound evolved from the dark, moody and challenging post-punk found on its debut, Mesh & Lace, to a more commercial and radio friendly mix of synthesizers, guitars, catchy drum beats and singer Robbie Grey‘s unmistakable vocals. As the title suggests, the icy sound featured on Mesh & Lace melted away on After the Snow to reveal more concise and potent songs, highlighted by “I Melt With You” which brought the band up from the underground to the mainstream. It’s a song so popular that the band was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 BMI Awards for seven million plays on radio. After the Snow was produced by the acclaimed Hugh Jones whose production credits include albums by Echo and the Bunnymen, Simple Minds, The Damned and many more, and the LP was released on the legendary 4AD Records in the UK and licensed to Sire Records in the U.S.

Modern English issued After the Snow: Live From Indigo at the O2, a 40th anniversary live collection featuring the songs from the album on CD, CD/DVD and digital, with a vinyl version that was made available exclusively on Record Store Day 2022. Extensive touring throughout the U.S. on various legs would lead to the band making its late-night television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as well as a performance on The TODAY Show in October 2022.

After their brilliant performance at Cruel World Fest 2023, Modern English did in studio sessions for KCSN, in Los Angeles and KEXP in Seattle and helped open Atlantis, the sister venue to the legendary Washington DC venue 930. They did a tour of the US that included stops at WXPN Philadelphia and other leading Adult Alternative radio stations. Their new single, “Long In The Tooth”, from ‘their new album 1 2 3 4, is out now. Sign up to the band’s newsletter for details on future singles and touring and info about the new album’s release date.

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