Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Unloved’s magnum opus, The Pink Album, dives deep into desire and disorientation

"The Pink Album"

Release date: 02 September 2022
Unloved pink album art
31 August 2022, 00:00 Written by Simon Heavisides

It is a mystery as to why a band like Unloved remain stubbornly below the radar.

Distinctive songs drenched in atmosphere, great themed artwork, Jade Vincent’s hallucinogenic voice and a prime place in one of the most popular TV shows of the last decade (Killing Eve)and yet household name status is elusive.

Maybe it’s that self deprecating, verging on anonymous, name or just possibly these are people who like to hide in plain sight, all the better to lure unsuspecting listeners into their world.

Who knows, maybe they aspire to be a future cult band? If so then perhaps, alongside sheer unbridled inspiration, that’s what lies behind the massive double album statement that is The Pink Album? Because make no mistake this is a high stakes record. The risks of double album self indulgence are well known, the critics favourite cliche is surely, “there’s a great single album hidden in here”. Can Unloved prove that less isn’t always more?

Certainly the band’s third record is a full-on elemental magnum opus. Rich in intricate sonic quirks, musical references that are twisted and thrown around with total abandon, this is variety in extremis. From the Suicide-like beat box electro groove of “Girl Can’t Help It” to the sighing harp-adorned beauty of “Ever”, somehow it all fits together to create a maximalist playground of sound that is immediately recognisable as Unloved.

On occasion these tracks don’t feel like songs as such, more chunks of musique concrete where instruments and vocals are used and abused to serve the greater artistic vision.

The result is a seamless psychedelic synthesis of pop noir, ghostly '60s girl group sounds, Lynchian-style atmospherics, ambient washes and dance floor undertones, there’s nearly always a subliminal sense of unspecified menace or is it simply the deep disorientation that love and desire brings? Surrender and immersion are the only sensible responses.

Think of those old school extended mixes that give more of everything you love, well The Pink Album works on that principle. This is a true ‘director’s cut’ of an album where the stellar supporting cast (Jarvis Cocker, Etienne Daho, Raven Violet and Jon Spencer) are ‘merely’ part of the greater whole. Unloved dare you to doubt their abilities while knowing those who get it will be luxuriating up on cloud nine and won’t want to come down.

Success means that after The Pink Album experience, everything else tends to feel just a little one dimensional.

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