Bradford make their return in 2021, with their first album in over 30 years. Their new album, ‘Bright Hours’, will feature the acclaimed producer Stephen Street and two other original members of the band (Ian H and Ewan Butler).

They have so far released two singles from the upcoming album. The debut single, ‘Like Water’, has a strong beat and roars through the speakers. Just going off the single, it does sound like they are a band who know who they are and know what they want to create.

Bradford - Bright Hours Cover

Bright Hours Cover

Bradford were once hailed by Morrissey as “the” band who would make waves after The Smiths were gone. Street (the band’s producer), who has also worked with Blur, Kaiser Chiefs and New Order, had just finished working with Morrisey and had signed Bradford to Foundation, his new label.

Bradford’s ‘Shouting Quietly’ album, their 1990 debut, received critical acclaim, however the band did not become part of the iconic ‘Madchester’ movement so they didn’t get the chance to show the world their strengths. The initial band members kept in contact, over the period of time when the band were on hiatus. They recorded some new ideas and realised they still had the same band that they started out with.

After the release of the second single from the album ‘Down-Faced Doll’, we reached out to Stephen Street to find out how the band feel about their new album:

What is it like working with each other again?
It just feels completely natural and ‘right’. When Ian and Ewan first got in touch with me after such a long time and sent me some musical ideas they were working on, they first asked if I knew of anyone who could mix their recordings. I felt that quite a bit more work was needed before they could be mixed and I felt a natural enthusiasm to get involved. I said that I felt the best way to proceed was if we all teamed together to bring the ideas to full fruition. So, the logical thing to do as there was no record label involved and therefore no budget, was for me to join them as a third member of the band.

What does it feel like releasing an album straight after lockdown?
I don’t know. I’ll tell you when it happens! Joking aside, I’ve bought more vinyl albums in 2020 than I have done over the last two decades (although I was buying CDs and paying for Apple downloads). I think a growing number of people want a more tactile connection with the music they play in their homes and I hope that by releasing our album as a physical product rather than just digital streams we can tap into that feeling.

How would you describe ‘Down-Faced Doll’?
To me it relates to destiny and fate. How does something that was once cherished end up face down and discarded in a ditch whilst other toys still rest in comfort on a bed alongside their owner. Some win, some lose. The line that means the most to me is ‘How did it ever come to this’?

Who do you think will enjoy your new album the most?
I think fans of good well written alternative music will find much to enjoy. It’s a natural development from the original Bradford style and fans of Weller, Elbow, The Smiths, Doves etc should hopefully enjoy it!

‘Bright Hours’ the new album by Bradford will be released early-on in 2021.

Sophie Nebesniak

Hello! I am Sophie! Previously Head of Music at Fuse FM, I review gigs and occasionally talk rubbish on the radio. Guy Garvey and Alex Turner are my idols. I have no idea what I am doing most of the time but I once met three members of The 1975 outside Manchester Academy at one in the morning so that’s okay I guess.