It gives Lost Map great pleasure to introduce Manuela, the London-based project comprising vocalist and songwriter Manuela Gernedel and multi-instrumentalist and producer Nick McCarthy (Franz Ferdinand, FFS), with the release of their debut single ‘Cracks in the Concrete’, which premiered yesterday via Stereogum and is available to stream and share now. Out now as a PostMap postcard single and download, available exclusively from lostmap.com, and accompanied by a thumping disco remix B-side by London DJ Nadia Ksaiba, it’s a joyous introduction to their addictive, eclectic, off-the-wall and instantly refreshing DIY pop sound, and a perfect taster of their forthcoming debut album.
Austrian Manuela and her British-born husband Nick have been making music together on and off ever since they first met at a youth club summer party in the late 90s in Bavaria, Germany, where they both grew up. They moved to Glasgow together some years later after Manuela, who is a visual artist, was offered a place at Glasgow School of Art to study painting. While living in Glasgow, Manuela performed with the short-lived band White Nights, who released one 7” EP via Paul Thompson’s NEW! label. Nick went on to join Franz Ferdinand, sell millions of records and tour the world, all the while continuing to make music with Manuela as Box Codax together with their long-term friend Alexander Ragnew, releasing two well-received albums Only An Orchard Away in 2006 and Hellabuster in 2011.
Recorded after Nick concluded touring the Franz Ferdinand and Sparks collaboration FFS, ‘Cracks in the Concrete’ represents the first music Manuela and Nick have made together as Manuela. Between its scratchy, snaking guitar lines, analogue synth squelches and a nagging melodic hook that’ll keep you punching play over and over again, it’s a tirelessly fun arrival. ‘Cracks in the Concrete’ was recorded at Nick’s studio in Hackney, London called Sausage and co-produced by Sebastian Kellig. Guests on the Manuela album, which is presently being finalised for release at a later date TBD, include Jim Dixon (Django Django), William Reese (Mystery Jets), Roxanne Clifford (Veronica Falls) and Paul Thomson (Franz Ferdinand).
Of the inspiration behind the song, Manuela explains: “The line ‘cracks in the concrete’ was partly inspired by the French phrase ‘sous les páves, la plage!’ which came up during the student revolts there in May ’68. Roughly translated it says ‘there is sand underneath the pavement!’. It’s talking about the potential of things breaking and breaking up things. Everything falling apart and you telling yourself that it’s going to work out (‘everything is healing’).”
sausageproductions.com /// lostmap.com
'Cracks In The Concrete' is available as part of Lost Map's PostMap singles series, on a printed postcard with a download code on the back. The postcard comes with an exclusive remix by Nadia Ksaiba, and is only available from our webshop.
Manuela postcard release: http://lostmap.com/postcards/postmap-0108-11072016-manuela
Manuela Artist page on Lost Map: http://lostmap.com/manuela
You can also listen to the track in the following locations ...
Apple Music: https://itun.es/gb/7N3Edb