Merchandise are returning with another slice of pure pop gold. Hot on the heels of last year's much praised single Sometimes, and offering another tantalising taste of their forthcoming album For the Masses, Listen Up! Is so life affirming the band had no choice but to stick an exclamation mark after the title. While Listen Up! May be a tale of heartbreak and emotional torment, it is told against a sparkling musical backdrop - a tune more infectious than a winter flu pandemic and a pounding beat which sounds like it's just punched it's way out of a Wigan Casino all-nighter. This acoustic guitar driven two and a half minute gem showcases the electronic production techniques and pop songwriting that have become Brad B Wood and Conrad Astley's trademark, while pointing to the energy of the band's live shows which include John A Stewart on bass and Matt Maher on drums. At it's heart is the irresistible refrain: "All I've ever really wanted is a girl to make me shout, Hey lads now listen up - this is what life's about!" B-side Lonesome Beauty, meanwhile, shows yet another side to the band's musical vision, with gentle bossa nova and worn velvet vocals giving way to a blistering chorus, sly drum samples, and a bassline more groovy than anything heard since Chic were last in the house. With both tunes, Merchandise have produced the perfect antidote to winter's greys and blues, and have once again produced a familiar, yet unique cocktail of charming, disarming and seductive music. So go on, treat yourself to a taste of Merchandise. Praise for previous Merchandise releases: 'Great vocals, even better harmonies and well structured songs... almost guaranteed to have the listener skipping down a sun kissed Summer Avenue.' Clashmusic.com 'This breath of fresh air is the perfect introduction to Merchandise's uplifting pop sound. A story told through stirring, optimistic lyrics with a simple, catchy musical accompaniment, this radio-friendly treat has the potential to put Merchandise on the map.' Music Week 'This isn't a record for the cynics or noisemongers amongst you, but there must be some pop fans left out there?' Diskant.
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