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THE SLOW READERS CLUB

The Slow Readers Club

Knowledge Freedom Power

    When The Slow Readers Club hit the studio in early 2022 with producer Joe Cross (Hurts/Courteeners), they battled dark times with a refreshing optimism. The result is ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ , a sizzling synth-rock beast of a record akin to White Lies, Muse and modern-day Bloc Party, and a rallying cry of emancipation, both stylistically and socially. It’s a righteous punch of the air, a surge towards the future.Frontman Aaron Starkie says, “The world had got so bleak it felt a little indulgent to paint apocalyptic pictures when they were out in the real world. I thought people would probably want to hear more uplifting things, it was my intention to be a bit more positive. There’s still a lot of melodrama in there and it’s still dystopian in places but there’s more positive shades in this record.”

    That positivity powers to the fore with the album’s lead single and title track, an instantly addictive hybrid of the band’s new pulsating synth style with their anthemic alt - rock roots. Its streamlined, straight – to – the - point hook highlights the fact that there can be an alternative to a world which is becoming increasingly authoritarian and ignoring the needs of the many in favour of the few. Aaron adds, “Growing up as a council estate kid in Manchester I was very conscious of having a limited horizon and I guess I had a chip on my shoulder and something to prove. It’s that background that inspired both our band name and the album’s title track ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’. It is an exercise in positive sloganeering, a mantra for education as a means of a way out from social and psychological confinement.” As much as the record finds The Slow Readers Club channelling a brighter spirit, there’s no dumbing down of their famously ferocious and insightful lyricism. A beam of hope shines throughout ‘Sacred Song’ : part in the form of a spiritual saviour, but also embracing the power of love as a force for good, something which can also be achieved by the friendship and community spirit infused in ‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’ . Yet a darkness still looms large, whether its within the warmongering satire - and ultimately individual powerlessness – of ‘Seconds Out’ or the steady march of automation over the human workforce on opener ‘Modernise’ ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ is the band’s sixth album and the latest giant leap in one of the greatest self-made success stories in recent British rock history. Since debuting in 2011 with their eponymous and self - released debut album, they’ve constantly grown in stature leading to sold - out headline gigs including the Manchester Apollo and London’s Scala , shows as guests to Pixies ,Catfish and The Bottlemen and James , as well as festivals stretching from the Neighbourhood Weekender to Mad Cool Madrid.

    When lockdown kicked in the same week that ‘The Joy Of The Return’ debuted at #9, The Slow Readers Club reacted to the cancellation of their touring plans by creating a darker, more ethereal set of songs, which they recorded via Whats App and Google Drive and by recording one band member at a time in the studio. The result was ‘91 Days in Isolation’ , which they self-released in October 2020 Knowledge Freedom Power’

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Liam says: Next outing for Manchester favourites The Slow Readers Club, 'Knowledge Freedom Power' takes the band's signature dark power-pop and refines it to the nth degree! Big soaring choruses, mega vocals and crisp synths, Readers fans will love this!

    TRACK LISTING

    1.‘Modernise’
    2.‘Afterlife’
    3. ‘Sacred Song’
    4.‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’
    5.‘How Could You Know?’
    6. ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’
    7. ‘What Might Have Been’
    8. ‘Seconds Out’
    9. ‘Forget About Me’
    10. ‘No You'

    The Slow Readers Club

    The Joy Of The Return

      Manchester’s The Slow Readers Club return with their fourth album, The Joy Of The Return. Opening to an energetic blend of driving drums and infectious guitar lines, the opening track builds through evocative verses and anthemic choruses, imbued with their idiosyncratic brand of insightful and confronting lyricism and set against relentlessly danceable and energy-provoking instrumentation. “‘All I Hear’ is about a lack of agency and an inability to affect change. That there’s something happening, and you have no choice but to go along with it,” explains singer Aaron Starkie.

      Throughout the album, the band explore a vast swathe of sonic territory, from the passionately delivered ‘All The Idols’, to the poppier tones of ‘Jericho’ that power through with bright indie guitar lines and ethereally melodic choruses.  Recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and produced by long-standing collaborator Phil Bulleyment, The Joy Of The Return marks a significant change in the band’s process, with their extensive touring allowing them time to write and develop tracks and arrangements through soundchecks and back-of-van jams.

      “I think it’s definitely our most interesting and accomplished record musically,” says singer Aaron Starkie. “Lyrically the album covers love, alienation, the rise of right wing populism and comments on algorithm driven propaganda. And as always, I try to deliver those lyrics with uplifting melody.”

      The dark power-pop that defined their previous releases holds a strong influence, with the brooding ‘No Surprise’ providing a powerful dose of evocative lyricism amid immersive soundscapes, while the unsettling ‘Paris’ is an undulating exploration of observational songwriting and eclectic musicality The swelling, arena-sized ‘Zero Hour’ displays the enormity of The Slow Readers Club sound and sets the precedent for their incredibly exciting future, while ‘The Wait’ closes the album with a beautifully absorptive combination of atmospheric synths flipping the pace of the record on its head to intoxicating effect.


      TRACK LISTING

      Side A
      1. All I Hear
      2. Something Missing
      3. Problem Child
      4. Jericho
      5. No Surprise
      6. Paris

      Side B
      1. Killing Me
      2. All The Idols
      3. Every Word
      4. Zero Hour
      5. The Wait


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