Last night I listened to the radio which I always enjoy, but never do…it just seems like such hassle. Obviously, I’m very wrong, the second song I heard was by a band called Public Service Broadcasting and like the first time I heard The Gaslight Anthem or WU LYF I stayed up all night scouring the internet trying to find out as much about them as I could. They are the most interesting and delightful band I’ve heard in a long time.
The London duo consists of J. Willgoose, ESQ and Wrigglesworth who between them manage to play drums, banjo, piano, guitar, a whole host of electronic instruments and of course the samples that tie this whole project together. As you might have gathered from the name the samples are all from old public service broadcasts and it’s an ingenious idea with no end of originality. As they say they’re
trying to teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future
, which is a fairly noble sentiment in itself.
As of 2012 they have two EP’s, the first one EP One is a stunning introduction into what they do and has a slight Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve feel to it as they intercut the spoken word with beautifully visceral soundscapes. It’s upbeat and tracks like ‘Introduction (Let Yourself Go)’ have an almost disco sound to them. What’s so excellent about groups like Public Service Broadcasting is they don’t limit themselves to what they can and can’t do, they’re one of the most eclectic and inclusive bands going.
The War Room, their latest EP, has a much more atmospheric feel to it, it’s packed with terse flitting sounds and scuzzy post-rock guitars that create tension akin to society on the brink of war. The propaganda used here follows a narrative that you can track more simply through the song titles which go from ‘If War Should Come’ to the minimal dark-wave techno of ‘London Can Take It’ and through to ‘Waltz For George’ which is a gentle banjo filled soliloquy.
The first track I heard though is not to be found on any of these two releases, it’s a song called ‘Everest’ and its quiet simply stunning. Like the mountain of its title it’s filled with hope, joy, spirit, unknowable limits and lots of bouncy promising synths that recollect the best of the 80’s. It’s based on the 1953 film ‘Conquest Of Everest’ which tells various tales of ascents of the world’s tallest mountain. If you want to be captured by a band then then this is a perfect first song to hear, it’s a song of accomplishment and challenge and it has a horn section to die for.
If you love music, if you love spoken word, if you love to be taken to dizzying new heights, to explore the past, to experiment with the future then Public Service Broadcasting are a band you really can’t do without.
For fans of:
- Sigur Ros
- Joy Wants Eternity
- Old informative archive footage