Track: London duo The Itch release the deliciously dark synth pop debut ‘Ursula’ – an enigmatic paean to cult author Ursula K. Le Guin, ahead of live gigs.

The Itch is a project directed by Georgia Hardy and Simon Tyrie and their debut single ‘Ursula’ is an exciting bubbly electronic anthem with deep enigmatic vocals that capture the zeitgeist of uncertainty and anxiety. Sounding like something that has Depeche Mode, Visage and The Beloved in its genes with a cinematic glow, there is an aquatic thunder to the instrumentation building up momentum to a crescendo. The vocals seethe and simmer and prowl like a caged animal, filled with a burning disassociated passion.

The song is a seven minute long homage to cult author Ursula K. Le Guin and explores themes of
suffering and fulfilment – central to Le Guin’s 1974 novel ‘The Dispossessed’ – and compares
her struggle for utopia to the hopes and dreams of their own generation. The result is a widescreen hyperactive epic, louche and laconic and yet imbued with a steely determination and a great deal of mystique. It is a stunning debut. There is deep within, however, a sense of resiliance and fatalism:

You pack your things into little boxes
And put them to one side
You know everything you’ve ever loved
Will one day be lost to time
And that sinking feeling
Oh, that sinking feeling
So put on your best dress
And go out tonight
Everything’s a mess but you don’t mind

The accompanying video contrasts empty London skyscrapers and travels across the city with close claustrophobic scenes of performances in dark neon lit spaces. It captures a sense of isolation and distance, an alien landscape for an alien sound:

The single is out everywhere today and the band are playing a number of live gigs in the coming months, including a headline to launch the single – see below.

Upcoming live date (more TBA):
10 April – The Social, London (debut headline performance)
25 May – Wide Awake Festival
5 July – 7 July – Wilde Weide Festival, NL
25 July – 28 July – Latitude Festival
26 July – 29 July – Deer Shed Festival
29 August – 1 September – End of the Road festival

Having first appeared on the capital’s live circuit at the tail-end of 2023, The Itch’s pairing
of undulating dancefloor fillers and disenchanted pop songwriting saw them quickly become
a name that was passed between gig goers despite a notable absence from social media, as
word-of-mouth spread about an act channeling stadium rock sensibilities through a modern
dance filter.

Live bookings from notable publications ensued (DIY, Dork, The Line of Best Fit), alongside
a run of support slots which threatened to hijack the limelight and a tide of offers from major
festivals including End of The Road, Wide Awake and Latitude – all before the duo had
released any music.

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