Following the release of their 2021 debut LP, Everything’s Wrong, But It’s Alright, Southport’s Bobhowla return with their latest single, Tainted.
Recorded by Daniel Woodward at Liverpool’s Whitewood Recording Studio, Tainted sees Bobhowla exploring new terrains within their atmospheric sound world. Here we see Howard Doupe alongside bandmates, John Brindle (guitar), Graham Fletcher-Hill (bass) and Al McNay (drums) showcase a breezy folk rock charm with seamless melodies and ringing guitars reminiscent of The War On Drugs.
Ahead of its release tomorrow and exclusive to Sun 13, you can be the first to Tainted via the link below.
Last week we caught up with Doupe and asked several questions, including the inspirations behind Tainted:
Bobhowla Interview: “I’ve always experimented with throwing imagery into songwriting”
Sun 13: Can you tell us about Tainted?
Howard Doupe: “Tainted is the one we’re most proud of in the latest batch of tunes brought to the table. Hard-hitting and mesmerising cyclical chords, interweaved with John’s shimmering guitar hooks. The beating heart of the track comes from Al’s motorik beat – Joy Division inspiration in full flow.
“Lyrically, Tainted deals with the Contaminated Blood Scandal, widely reported as ‘the worst disaster in the history of the NHS‘.
“It’s a raw subject. We hope the track will help shed some light onto the world-wide tragedy, one that after many decades still remains relatively unknown to the wider public – a first for popular music.
“The scandal has drawn many supporters over the years, with Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester) one of the most passionate. The track contains a sample of Burnham’s conclusions that a ‘criminal cover-up of an industrial scale‘ has taken place.
“A line that is hugely significant to those infected and affected by the scandal.
S13: You worked with Daniel Woodward. He’s worked with BC Camplight too, hasn’t he?
HD: “Between May and July we recorded the track, which later became Tainted, this time a little closer to home at Whitewood Studio in the heart of the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool. Under the watchful eyes of in-house producer Daniel Woodward (BC Camplight, The Shipbuilders), he’s brought about yet another unimagined string to our bow.
“With the bulk of the track recorded within a session, we wanted to get it out there asap!”
S13: And it’s coming out on square vinyl, too. What was the idea behind that?
HD: “In the age of the ‘singles only’ streaming culture, we thought: wouldn’t it be great to not only get it out physically, but, you know, do something a little special? Not to simply repeat our other previous physical releases: the 7” (a limited number) or the album (coloured vinyl, with lyric booklet).
“Our hunt for something a bit special has led us to this: a clear squared 7” vinyl, limited to 50 copies, lathe cut by the folks at Lathe To The Grave.
“Including artwork was a dead cert and continuing the theme of our namesake, we’ve had a commissioned piece created by wonderfully talented local artist Amanda Clark-Price.
“Based in Lancashire, Amanda uses mixed-media approach to her work through the creation of collages. Lyrics to the track have been incorporated into the piece, in the style of a moth – a little nod to a ‘real’ Bobhowla.
“Woven into the design are lyrics from the track, making it a completely unique piece of art. We wanted to make sure the single showcased this in its best light and so we nabbed Graham’s photography skills to capture it on the included artwork print.”
Tainted is out tomorrow. For purchase information , visit Bobhowla’s Kickstarter, Bandcamp and Linktree.
Bobhowla will play at Southport’s Bijou Cinema on Friday September 9 alongside Astles. Purchase tickets here.