Two years after announcing work on a new The The album, Matt Johnson is releasing his first full-band music under that moniker in the form of “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming,” an etched one-sided 7-inch single to be issued next month as part of Record Store Day in the U.K.
The new single finds Johnson backed by several former The The members, including Zeke Manyika (Soul Mining/Infected era) on percussion and James Eller on bass (Mind Bomb/Dusk era) — plus Smiths guitar legend Johnny Marr, who also played on Mind Bomb and Dusk.
They’re joined by Swedish composer and singer Meja Kullersten, Waterboys drummer Chris Whitten and Iain Berryman of Florence + The Machine on keyboards.
The track is being promoted as The The’s first single in 15 years, but that disregards the download-only single “Mrs. Mac” that The The released in 2007. Prior to that, Johnson hadn’t released any proper The The music since 2000’s NakedSelf album. Since 2010, though, he has released film scores as The The.
In January 2015, Johnson told U.K. magazine Uncut that work was underway on the first song-based The The album since NakedSelf. He said:
“The important thing is getting yourself in the frame of mind for it. Everything else follows from that. Having been away for so long, I have almost forgotten who I used to be. I almost forgot I was a songwriter in the first place, which is a horrible thing to say. But if it all goes to plan, the album will have freshness to it. It’ll be a new start for my career.”
No other details are yet known about the project.
Following his debut solo album Burning Blue Soul in 1981, Johnson recorded and released six The The studio albums between 1983 and 2000, and recorded several others — including The Pornography of Despair and Gun Sluts — that were never released.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Ramones to release 10-disc set of pre-1980 7-inch singles for Record Store Day
- The Cars to issue unreleased ‘Live at the Agora 1978’ on vinyl for Record Store Day
- The Smiths to issue unreleased versions of 2 songs on Record Store Day 7-inch
- The Cure preparing ‘Greatest Hits,’ ‘Acoustic Hits’ vinyl picture discs for Record Store Day