Johnny Marr releases new song ahead of album release, A synth story.
Johnny Marr has released the first song off of his upcoming album, The song features actress Maxine Peake, who tells the story of a homeless girl living life in Manchester
The story is backed by numerous synths and Johnny’s famous guitar tone reaps throughout the song, and although Marr’s guitar is used less than other instruments and quiet compared to the rest of song, you can tell that this is Marr, just from the distinct reverb of Marr’s ringing guitar.
What starts off sounding like it is going to be an ordinary Marr tune, and then showcases his new sound, which features more synths than Marr fans are used to, it soon turns into the slightly dark masterpiece that this song actually is. As the vocals kick in (sang/spoken by Maxine Peake), the song, which is one of the few songs that the titles of which have been released, takes a slightly Jamie T feel, and the music is all down to the evermore popular, and go to indie instrument, the synth.
The lyrics, really tell the story of life as a homeless person, as they start off with the girl denying drugs, for one of the last lines in the song to be ‘I had a bit of coke earlier on’, and this really highlights the problems that are going on within society, that are being relatively ignored by the majority of people. The Salvation Army feature heavily within this track, which is why I think Marr really hits the nearly nail on the head both lyrically and musically with this track, because he really makes the problems that the less-fortunate face on a daily basis stand out, with lines about drugs and ‘the free food place’ being at raised levels to other lyrical content within the song.
The video for this masterpiece is filmed in the streets, alleyways and doorways of Manchester, and is a song and video that all Mancunians can relate to, due to the current homeless crisis that cannot be avoided if you are heading into Manchester City Centre especially. From Oxford Road to Piccadilly, and everywhere in between, this video captures everything it needs to and more. Aside from the setting, this video also features a young, homeless girl (whom the song is based on) and two homeless men, who get the girl into trouble with the police, drugs and give her the nickname, that becomes the title of the song.
The Youtube video for this song is accompanied by the following words by Johnny Marr, on how this song came to be, ‘The Priest is based upon the characters that Joe Gallagher met on the streets in the first few days after becoming homeless in Edinburgh. Gallagher wrote a diary of his experiences for the Big Issue under the pseudonym James Campbell when he first became homeless in May 2015 and continued until he found a new home in March 2016’.
All in all, this song is a musical masterpiece, and the way Peake gets the lyrics across is really quite beautiful.