Tim Bowness, one half of the British art-rock duo No-Man, recently announced his latest solo venture, Stupid Things That Mean the World. Bowness is clearly in the middle of a creatively fertile period, as his new record comes not long after his excellent 2014 outing Abandoned Dancehall Dreams.
PopMatters is proud to premiere the first video tied to Stupid Things that Mean the World, for the haunting track “Great Electric Teenage Dream”. With powerful drumming reminiscent of the booming opener to Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, “The Warm-Up Man Forever”, the song is a rocker of an intensity rarely heard in the music of No-Man. While Bowness’ music in that duo, where he is joined by Steven Wilson on instruments, is often minimalist and introspective, on “Great Electric Teenage Dream” he cranks up the rock dynamics considerably. The music heightens the stark past/present contrasts Bowness highlights in his lyrics, some of which he no doubt knows all too well: “Your great electric teenage dream / Once a record / Now an unpaid stream.”
Bowness says this about the song: “This is the opening track from Stupid Things That Mean The World, though it was one of the last pieces to be completed for the album.
“It’s partly rooted in some powerful drum patterns Pat Mastelotto [King Crimson] recorded in 2013, but most of the song came together in one late night live session at NAM Studios in February this year. Subsequently, Colin Edwin [Porcupine Tree], Andrew Booker, and Bruce Soord [The Pineapple Thief] made some additions that helped build the tension in the song further.
“Stephen Bennett—who I co-wrote the song with—created the video, which has a nice ‘retro-future’ theme running through it that compliments some of the ideas in the lyric.”
Bowness’ image has never been one of a rock star, but if the brooding tune below is any indication, he could just be on his way to pulling that off. All in all, “Great Electric Teenage Dream” bodes very well indeed for Stupid Things That Mean the World.
Stupid Things That Mean the World is out on 17 July via InsideOut, and can be pre-ordered through Burning Shed, the online music shop that Bowness co-founded with Peter Chilvers and Pete Morgan.