A CERTAIN RATIO are back with a new album, ACR Loco. Revitalised by their most successful tour in over two decades, the band returned to the studio to record their first album in 12 years – due for release on Mute on 25 September 2020.
Listen to the first single taken from the album, the poignantly beautiful ‘Always In Love’:
The song and accompanying video have a sweetly warm groove that almost evokes the same feelings as The Cure’s “Pictures of You,” though perhaps a little more hopeful. The lyrics seem to be about missing a special person, though the collage of images also make it seem like it could be a close family member.
ACR Loco was recorded by the core line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with contributions from the ACR live line up – Tony Quigley on sax, Denise Johnson adds vocals and Matt Steele providing keyboards. Additional guests included Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Manchester luminaries Mike Joyce and Eric Random.
“This album is a culmination of everything we’ve ever done,” explains Kerr. The album distils the different directions and styles that have run throughout the band’s career – one that began in the late ‘70s with Factory Records first ever 7” release. “Digging into the past for the boxset [ACR:BOX was released in 2019 on Mute] must have rubbed off on us and influenced the current album,” says Moscrop. “I think it helped spark up our imagination. It allowed us to work in some of the past as we move forward into the future.”Jez Kerr, A Certain Ratio
Keen on the joys of collaboration and sharing, it makes sense that adding the ACR touch to other artists via a series of reworks led to their latest album taking shape. Recent reworks of tracks for the likes of Barry Adamson, The Charlatans and Maps saw the band return to the studio to unpick those original tracks.
“The reworks were crucial,” says Donald Johnson. “They got us back in the studio and forced a union and a bond. They allowed us to start getting a groove again.” Kerr mirrors this. “We love doing the reworks because it’s just us doing our thing,” he says. “The three of us jamming is really the basis of it all. Once you get that groove there’s no stopping us.”Donald Johnson, A Certain Ratio
The first sounds from the album were heard earlier this month when ‘Friends Around Us (Part 2)’ debuted after Tim’s Twitter Listening Party. This was followed by a limited edition 7” released in two parts across both sides of the vinyl, in homage to some of the great soul releases of the ‘70s and ‘80s, the 7” was available exclusively through the Love Record Stores Event to help struggling independent retailers.
The new 10-track album is out on CD, cassette and limited edition coloured vinyl. The vinyl will be available in one of four colours: white, blue, red and turquoise, randomly packed, with each colour of varying rarity.
ACR LOCO TRACKLISTING
Friends Around Us
Yo Yo Gi
Always In Love
Get A Grip