One of the highlights of Record Store Day 2017 is English post-punk band The The’s first new single in 15 years, “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming”. A tribute to frontman Matt Johnson’s late brother, the single will be released on 7-inch vinyl and limited to 2,000 copies. Today, Johnson debuted the song on Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 6 program.
The new track finds Johnson joined by former band members Zeke Manyika on percussion, James Eller on bass, and Johnny Marr (yes, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr) on guitar. The song remembers Johnson’s brother Andrew “Andy Dog” Johnson, who passed away in January 2016 and designed much of band’s artwork over the years — including the “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming” sleeve itself, which features etchings from his sketchbooks.
Prior to the premiere, the 55-year-old singer-songwriter spoke to Lamacq about the new song, which he wrote with a “Fender Rhodes-type sound” in mind during the making of his documentary with Johanna St. Michaels, The Inertia Variations. It was recorded live in one take during his first performance in 15 years at the end a 12-hour broadcast from his own radio station.
Johnson said there are no immediate plans for a digital release of “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming”, but that it will be part of a “larger project” later this year involving the Inertia Variations.
Click here and fast forward to the 1:21:28 mark to take a listen.
Update: The The have shared a video for “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming”. The video, edited by Vicki Bennett from People Like Us, includes footage taken from Inertia Variations, a new documentary on Matt Johnson which gets its UK premiere at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. Watch it below.