Digital Music, Radio, Reunions — April 18, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Listen: The The, ‘We Can’t Stop What’s Coming’ — first new single in 10 years

Matt Johnson debuted his first new The The single in a decade today on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6 Music show, calling in to the program to introduce “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming,” a tribute to his late brother that will be released as a 7-inch single for Record Store Day in the U.K.

Listen: Pull up Lamacq’s archived 6 Music show and scroll to about 1:21 to hear the full song (and, before that, the host’s complete interview with Johnson).

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.

The song is about, and dedicated to, Johnson’s brother Andrew Johnson, aka Andy Dog, who designed much of The The’s artwork over the years, and who died in January 2016.

Johnson discussed the nature of the song with Lamacq:

“It’s difficult for me in a way because this is the third time I’ve written a song about a close family member that’s died. I wrote ‘Love is Stronger Than Death’ for my brother Eugene and I wrote ‘Phantom Walls’ for my mum, and now ‘We Can’t Stop What’s Coming’ for Andrew. The wonderful thing about songs is you create almost a living memorial because the songs go out into the world and hopefully become an intimate part of people’s lives, so it helps keep their memories alive.”

In the BBC interview, Johnson says there are no immediate plans for a digital release of “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming,” but said it will be part of “a larger project” later in the year. He did not elaborate.

The Record Store Day 7-inch — The The’s first single since the download-only “Mrs. Mac” in 2007 — will be limited to 2,000 copies, and it appears that it only will be released in the U.K.

Record Store Day is Saturday.





  1. Lee McKnight Jr

    Ah-this is really good. So bummed it’s UK-only for Record Store day, but would love to hear more from this lineup.

  2. UK only. Strictly limited to 2,000 units. No plans for any other release.
    Gosh, I wonder why people resort to downloading music illegally online??

  3. Sounds amazing. I hope there is an album coming. Have missed The The so much over the last few years.

  4. Fantastic!!! Hopefully the new release will arrive Stateside one of these days.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *