We are delighted and honoured to premiere the new single from Philadelphian outfit Manwomanchild, called ‘Memory Leak’, being released on Tuesday, 6 March. Manwomanchild is based around the songwriting genius of David Child and the outfit has already released two albums since starting out in Rhodes Island back in 2008 and moving to Philadelphia in 2010.
‘Memory Leak’ is, quite frankly, a gorgeous and perfectly-formed pop song for the indie generation. It is built over a wandering piano base and infused with a melancholic romantic melody that for me recalls the elegantly restrained indie pop sound of Liverpool – Lightning Seeds, The Las and Cast. Maybe even a bit of The Beatles. Throw in a bit of C86 and The Go-Betweens, and you can see what I mean.
The song is a beautiful observation of our distorted memories of the past: All we have in common is this moment that we live, memories resurface a reflection of two kids, a time and a place:
‘Memory Leak was originally about the dangers of nostalgia. It was going to be about how friendships fade over time, about meeting up with an old friend only discover you have nothing in common anymore. Memory Leak was originally about the dangers of nostalgia. It was going to be about how friendships fade over time, about meeting up with an old friend only discover you have nothing in common anymore.
As I reworked the lyrics and thought more about my own friendships, I also thought a bit about Facebook, which I hardly use anymore. People rarely unfriend each other even as the actual relationships fade, so that the network continues to document connections that no longer really exist. For me, it’s basically a time capsule of 2010.
All of this makes its way into the song in dribs and drabs. The song imagines the listener receiving a friend request from someone from their past (described variously as “a proxy”, “a concept”, and “a project”), one which they accept, knowing that they will never actually interact with the person (“put me on your list to keep me at bay”).
There’s another thing: by not using the site much anymore, I’m unintentionally starving it of data. Facebook works for advertisers by drawing clever conjectures about the kind of person I am based on the data they have about me. In the song, I imagine a world where, in the absence of fresh data, the algorithm invents new data. (“In a yearbook photo with a kid I’ve never seen”).’
Intelligent, thoughtful lyricism draped over pure power pop shoulders. Child’s voice has an innocent, longing wonderment about it and the instrumentation is sparse, crisp and fresh – interwoven with lush, understated strings. I love it.
This single has sent me off to investigate Child’s earlier work which has, curiously enough, included video game soundtracks and a single, “Chile La Roja”, in support of Chile’s 2010 World Cup team.
You can get Manwomanchild’s earlier releases now, and the single ‘Memory Leak’ from 6 March here.