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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Popcorn Fiend Channel Nine Inch Nails & Chvrches On Second Release From Forthcoming Debut Album

A Virtue is the new single from Popcorn Fiend, and the second track to be lifted from the Scottish musician's debut album Distance, which occupies a space somewhere between the industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails and the melodic synth-pop of Chvrches.
Credit Michael Greig

The new single was inspired by the vista photographed on the single cover, taken by the artist at the top of the iconic Schafberg mountain in Austria, and the track taps into synthwave and soundtrack influences as it sweeps over and above its own sonic scenery.

"A Virtue was the first track co-producer David R Simpson mixed and it set the template for the album," says Popcorn Fiend, aka Michael MacLennan. 

"He was integral in shaping the galvanising and ultimately soaring instrumentation, which reflects the origin of the track. 

"I was on Schafberg and living in Austria in the immediate wake of the Brexit vote, and being at a remove seemed both calming and discomforting. 

"It felt impossible to remove the beautiful from the melancholic, yet it felt as though that was exactly how it should be." 


Taking its cues from this, the video for A Virtue was also shot by MacLennan last month when he, his sister, and cousin climbed Beinn Alligin, one of the classic mountains of the Torridon region of the Scottish Highlands. 

Combining first-person footage with drone camera footage, the filming was almost stopped in its tracks on one of the wettest days of an already 'dreich' summer in Scotland.

"The conditions were so poor that by the time we got to the top I almost wished I hadn't bothered," says MacLennan. 

"We were completely soaked through, and the entire trip felt like a complete washout. 

"However, as we started making our way down the torrential rain finally stopped and the skies actually cleared – which meant we had some amazing views on the final stretch.

"I'm not sure I would ever have chosen to film on that day in retrospect, but the conditions actually mapped perfectly on to the track: dark (and extremely dank) conditions giving way to an epic and uplifting finale. 

"The parallels between Schafberg and Beinn Alligin couldn't have felt more fitting for the images I had in my head when I wrote 'A Virtue.'"

Popcorn Fiend's new single 'A Virtue' is out now. Debut album 'Distance' is released on 18th September 2020. CLICK HERE for more info on both releases. 

by: Mike Cobley




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