Manic Street Preachers release the second track from their forthcoming album ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ today (16th July 2021). ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ is three and half minutes of impossible melody, a track that shimmers and glistens as if caught in the reflections of a gigantic disco mirror-ball.  It delves into the lives of bohemian Augustus and internalised Gwen John – Welsh sibling artists who were opposites united by blood yet driven apart by divergent lifestyles. 

A cousin of (the bands 4th album) ‘Everything Must Go’s’ track ‘The Girl Who Wanted To Be God’, ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ features a gorgeous, glacial vocal from Julia Cumming (Sunflower Bean) set over a tumbling ABBA-esque piano line and a galloping, restless rhythm track that’s pure summer, pure pop, pure Manics. 

The video for the single stars Newport born actress Aimee Ffion Edwards (Peaky Blinders/The Detectorists/Skins) and was directed by the band’s long-time visual collaborator Kieran Evans in Tenby and Newport’s Dolman Theatre.  

The band release their 14th studio album ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ on 3rd September 2021 on Columbia/Sony and the new track is the follow up to radio hit ‘Orwellian’. After several festival dates the band play two re-scheduled Cardiff shows for the NHS in September and then embark on a tour.

‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ is both reflection and reaction; a record that gazes in isolation across a cluttered room, fogged by often painful memories, to focus on an open window framing a gleaming vista of land melting into sea and endless sky.

The album’s eleven tracks perfectly marry introspection, quiet rage and sublime, irresistible tunes. Those elements are there throughout, from the opening ambient hum of ‘Snowing In Sapporo’ to the galloping ‘The Secret He Had Missed’s push-and-pull duet imagining dialogue between Welsh brother and sister artists Augustus and Gwen John; via ‘Diapause’s sublime contemplation and ‘Happy Bored Alone’s stoic wishful thinking.

Musically, ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ is inspired by a formative years record box (ABBA, post-Eno Roxy, the Bunnymen, Fables-era REM, Lodger) though the end result could only be the unique union of James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore, collectively one of the UK’s most consistently brilliant rock’n’roll bands for over three decades.

 A departure from their last release (2018’s ‘Resistance is Futile’), ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ is the first Manic Street Preachers album initially conceived on piano rather than guitar. It was recorded over winter 2020/21 in Wales at Rockfield in Monmouth and the bands’ Door to the River studio in Newport with longtime collaborator Dave Eringa (The Who), before being mixed by David Wrench (Blossoms, Frank Ocean, Arlo Parks). The album features two guest vocalists: Julia Cumming (Sunflower Bean) on ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ and Mark Lanegan on ‘Blank Diary Entry’. There are exclusive signed copies, picture disc vinyl and cassette on the official store, an exclusive version of the vinyl with alternate artwork available at HMV and an exclusive yellow version of the vinyl on Amazon. 

Following Manic Street Preachers longest enforced break from playing live, the group will take the album on a 14 date cross-country tour. Prior to these dates, they play some previously announced festival shows.   Support on all headline shows comes from The Anchoress (except Wembley).

Pre-order ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ from the official store ( and tickets for the tour are on sale now: 

New Tour: 

26 September             NEWCASTLE, O2 City Hall

28 September             EDINBURGH, Usher Hall

29 September             DUNDEE, Caird Hall

  1 October                  STOKE-ON-TRENT, Victoria Hall

  2 October                  MANCHESTER, O2 Apollo

  4 October                  YORK, Barbican

  5 October                  GLASGOW, Barrowland

  7 October                  LEEDS, O2 Academy

  8 October                  PORTSMOUTH, Guildhall

10 October                  BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy

11 October                  CAMBRIDGE, Corn Exchange

13 October                  BATH, Forum

14 October                  BRIGHTON, Dome

  3 December              LONDON, The SSE Arena, Wembley

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