Manchester’s MCRAE return for 2022 with their latest single ‘Planetvplanet’ – and with a new year comes a spacey new sound.
In the relatively short time since forming, the four-piece already have a history of exploring and experimenting with genre. From the heavier near punk-inspired sound of their earlier releases ‘Postapocalipstick’ and ‘Show Me’, to the sweet jangle-guitar-pop of last year’s track ‘Lucy’ – this new offering takes a decidedly synth-driven approach.
Running at just under three-and-a-half minutes in length, ‘Planetvplanet’ combines sparkling electronic synths and punchy percussion with optimistic lyricism. It’s interesting to note this change of outlook from the band’s most previous release ‘How to Start a Fire’ which gave off a much more cynical view. Harnessing the universal and personal frustrations of the last couple of years, MCRAE have turned them into something both cathartic and upbeat – describing it as their ‘mental health ballad’.
Frontman Jake Mcrae certainly retains that signature grit and demanding quality to his vocals – with the choruses bringing backing vox from the other members as they almost chant the lyrics including line..‘it’s not your fault it’s just the way the world is today’ – a comment the band received after yet another gig was postponed.
Despite the familiar hint of prowling guitar riffs in the middle 8 – the tune soon returns to its fizzy synth-pop stylings. And it works. It’s an uplifting listen, with threads of positivity and acceptance woven tightly throughout – and while maybe not as instantly catchy as other songs in their back catalogue – with each play there’s more to discover.
This could be a fully-fledged new direction for the band or perhaps they’re just dipping their toes in for now. We’ll watch this space. But either way, fans needn’t fear – MCRAE aren’t a million miles away.