BLACK MARBLE, the recording alias of American east-coast Anglophile Chris Stewart, has released a video for his take on Wire’s “In Manchester”, ahead of a covers EP next month.

The EP, entitled I Must Be Living Twice, will be released on August 14th by Sacred Bones Records; it’s also available for pre-order via Bandcamp.

I Must Be Living Twice was recorded shortly after 2019’s acclaimed full-length album Bigger Than Life.

Chris says: “I was initially drawn to the idea of covering ‘In Manchester’ because of the lyrics, which, for me, paint impressionistic snapshots of time and place. Some are more clear and feel like specific street scenes. Some are more oblique, but still feel grounded by the ‘In Manchester’ chorus. 

“Manchester is more akin to the feel of a Northeast American city. As someone who’s been recently living on the West Coast, I miss the storytelling backdrop of these more old world-feeling places. 

I felt connected to the song through that, and started by introducing a bit more of an off-kilter feel. From there I figured if I just stayed true to the general outline, some impressions of my own songwriting would creep in and I just hoped and trusted that the results would be complementary.”

Chris’s retread keeps in line with the skinny, propulsive nature of the original, but nudges it a little towards synthwave.

Of the notion of a covers EP, Chris added: “About three years ago we started playing cover songs on stage. People were stoked to hear an old favourite worked into our set, but they would often wonder if they could ever hear them outside of the live setting.

“After a while it became obvious that we eventually wanted to record the covers we’d been playing live for the fans that wanted to hear them.”

And with the EP tracklist offering us reversions of Robert Palmer’s “Johnny and Mary”, The Field Mice’s “Emma’s House” and even a track by Grouper, any music fan’s curiosity should be totally piqued. There’s even a pink vinyl version for the wax heads. What’s not to want?