Music Music reviews

On my stereo this week: ‘Under The Headlights’ by The Blackheart Orchestra.

I have long been a fan of The Blackheart Orchestra’s synth prog duo of Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington. The thing I admire most about them is that they are forever evolving and challenging themselves as musicians.

As one of Manchester’s most beloved storytellers and songwriters, they have released their brand new single Under The Headlights. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming album Hotel Utopia, which will be released later this year on August 26. The album as a whole is set to raise questions around “what happens (or might happen) after our life on earth ends,” explains Pilkington. 

It’s fair to say Mostyn and Pilkington’s music traverses all sorts of ideas. They are renowned for letting go of the reins and allowing themselves to experiment with sonics, arrangements, even lyrics. Interestingly, on their new single intertwined with Chrissy’s lyrics is the voice of 1960’s British philosopher Alan Watts whose spoken word from one of his famous lectures “Myth of Myself” offers us words of wisdom as if he is speaking to us from the afterlife. Moreover Watts dissemination of the things we know about God and the cosmos and who we are for instance plays directly into the sorts of things Mostyn and Pilkington are interested in exploring, especially on their forthcoming new album. That said, Under The Headlights according to Mostyn and Pilkington was written “about all of those anxieties that keep us awake at night and is about learning to let go of these and surrendering to what is and realising that even though we may be just small specks of flickering lights we are all part of something bigger, we all matter and deserve to be seen.” 

If there is one song this week that deserves your attention, the haunting beautiful Under The Headlights, as it unravels with its swirling synths and Chrissy emotive vocals is definitely it. In short, it’s impossible to ignore the urge to turn it up and while you allow it to wash over you, listen out also for Pilkington’s hypnotic acoustic strumming and bass. Also check out the music video which was incredibly shot a few feet from the edge of the 531ft high cliffs at Birling Gap, South Downs, which I’m told is sadly Britain’s third most popular suicide location.

The Blackheart Orchestra’s Under The Headlights is out now. Available to stream HERE. Watch on You Tube. 


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